Avi Katz, Barbara Krasner, book review, Katherine Anne Porter, Liesl's Ocean Rescue, Ship of Fools

Liesl’s Ocean Rescue — Review and Giveaway

This is a special edition of The Write Stuff to run in conjunction with Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. If you aren’t familiar with Susanna, she is pretty much the queen of picture book blogging with all kinds of contests, reviews, and opportunities for writers on her blog. You can click HERE to see what’s going on. Every Friday, Susanna runs Perfect Picture Book Friday and for those who love picture books, it is a can’t miss day.

I don’t often review picture books, but sometimes I run across something pretty

special, and I want to help spread the word. Linking it to Susanna’s blog is a great way to garner some extra readers. Liesl’s Ocean Rescue is a very special book. I first heard the basic outlines of this story several years ago when I attended one of several workshops and retreats hosted by the Highlight’s Foundation. It was there I met Barbara Krasner. She was working on a book about the MS St. Louis, the ill-fated ship that carried Jewish passengers away from Germany during the horrors of the Nazi regime. I had read Katherine Anne Porter’s story Ship of Fools, so I had some idea of it, but the passion Barbara had for this important story was riveting. I knew someday it would make an extraordinary book. Now it is out and everyone should know about it.

Liesl Joseph was a little girl when the Nazi’s began their reign of terror. After her father had been arrested, the Joseph family knew when he was released a

Barbara Krasner

month later they had to leave the country. They joined a thousand Jews to board the MS St. Louis which was supposed to take them to Havana, Cuba. It was like a vacation on the ship. They were treated well, just as any passengers would be on a cruise. Liesl made friends all over the ship, with other passengers and with the crew. When the ship was turned away from Havana, many lost hope of finding safety. But through hard work by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, all the families were placed in Belgium, Holland, France, and England. 

Barbara has told this harrowing story in a beautifully-written and well-researched picture book that will allow very young children, first to third grade, an introduction to this very difficult time in our history. The illustrations by Avi Katz help to bring this story to life for youngsters.

I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. All you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower (easy and free — check the right-hand column) and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do. The drawing will be held on Sunday, November 16. 

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