Author – Vanessa Curtis
Age – 13+
There have been many books written about the horror of the Holocaust, and The Earth is Singing is particularly heart wrenching. And all the while, I’m thinking, ‘How can this have happened?’ though I know it is all terrifyingly true.
Unlike many holocaust novels, this story isn’t set in the terrible camps like Belsen, or Auschwitz, but in the city of Riga – capital of Latvia. It shows the Germans arriving and taking control, and changing the lives of the Jewish citizens so badly, that thousands perish before even getting on one of the cattle trains to the camps.
Hanna is 15 and dreams of being a ballerina, and dancing in the Opera House in her city of Riga. She loves her dance lessons, has good friends, a handsome boyfriend and she lives with her Mama and Omama (Her mother’s mum). But her beloved Papa has disappeared – taken by the Russians before the Germans invaded. They aren’t told why or where. The citizens of Riga cheered the marching Germans through their city, thinking that their lives would return to how they were before the ruthless Russian rule, but little did they know that even more terrible things awaited them – especially for the city’s Jewish population.
Read this book. It may make you cry, it will leave you sombre, but will definitely remind you of the horrors of the Holocaust.
(Holocaust, Jewish, Betrayal, Conflict, Courage, Family, War)