Title: The Light That Shines Forever
Author: David Warner
Major Themes: Children, Czechoslovakia, World War II, Jewish History, Jewish Holocaust
Synopsis: When Nicholas Winton became aware of the plight of thousands of Jewish refugees in Czechoslovakia just before World War II, he did what he could to help them.
The Light That Shines Forever is the kind of book I really like to read to my children. It is a beautiful picture book that tells a true story about a historical event that is little-known, and it presents a good example of a person who bravely did what was right even in the face of danger.
The year before Hitler invaded Poland, as he was beginning his “ethnic cleansing” in Czechoslovakia, Nicholas Winton traveled from his home in London to Prague at the invitation of a friend who wanted him to see what was happening there. His heart broke at the plight of thousands of Jewish families who huddled around the city in refugee camps. What could he do for them? He hatched an ingenious plan to at least save their children. Within the next nine months, until war was declared and the border sealed shut, he was able to get 669 children to safety in England.
Fifty years later, Nicky’s wife happened upon an old scrapbook tucked away in the attic, which she had never seen. It was full of the only records in existence of Nicky’s rescue work, and she was astounded to learn what her husband had done and never talked about! She made sure the world learned about his work to save as many children as possible.
The Light That Shines Forever is a picture book about the Holocaust—but it does not show or describe any of the horrors of that time, except for children having to leave their parents. This is a gentle way to begin teaching children about what happened during that period of history. It would make a wonderful addition to any shelf of picture books.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12