Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust

Scholastic/Graphix. Oct. 2023. 256p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780545313476.
Gr 7 Up–This work of graphic fiction uses an anthology of fantastic tales to explore the horrors of the Holocaust. Shusterman creates stories that engage and educate young readers about Nazi persecution of the Jewish people. He writes in the dedication, “This book is about impossible and wondrous things that never happened, set against a backdrop of impossible, unthinkable things that did.” The first story begins with a tale of young children hidden for safety behind a bookshelf, who escape through a portal to a peaceful world. Next is a very Marvel-inspired story of a Golem of Auschwitz, and then a tale of Baba Yaga and mythical creatures forming a resistance force in a deep, dark wood. The fourth is a Moses-inspired story of rescue and daring, followed by a final story about a young American girl and a terrible alternative future. The illustrations are reminiscent of early Marvel comic books. There are plenty of details that will draw the eye, like Baba Yaga’s flying cauldron, but plenty of action to move the plot forward.
VERDICT A nice addition to any teen graphic fiction collection.

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