Know what I did yesterday? I figured out what my son would be studying next year. It was wonderful! The only thing I need yet is Latin and French. I organized the books onto two shelves so it would be all ready come September. We have LOTS of books for our World War 2 Study. Anyways, as I was looking through my stack of review items I came across “It Rained Warm Bread”. It’s another book I can add to our stash! Moishe Moskowitz’s story of hope, is told by his daughter and put into poetry form by Hope Anita Smith. Just stop right now… GO and order this book. Do it.
It Rained Warm Bread: Moishe Moskowitz’s Story of Hope.
Story by: Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet
Poems by: Hope Anita Smith
Illustrations by: Lea Lyon
Christy Ottoviano Books
Middle School, history, WW2, Holocaust, Poetry,
Seven chapters, 146 pages
Received ARC softcover, Sold as Hardcover.
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.
Moishe Moskowitz was thirteen when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family learned the language of fear. The wolves loomed at every corner, yet Moishe still held on to the blessings of his mother’s blueberry pierogis, of celebrating the Sabbath as a family, of a loyal friend. But each day the darkness weighed more heavily on Moishe as his family was broken, uprooted, and scattered across labor and concentration camps. Just as his last hopes began to dim, a simple act of kindness redeemed his faith that goodness could survive the trials of war: That was the day it rained warm bread.
I love poetry. Poetry that tells a story can be a huge delight. This book was no exception… Hope Anita Smith paints shapes with her words. Shapes of sadness, sorry, fear. Knowing well the shapes of wolves looming in the dark. Shapes the speak to hiding, to loss of hope. So much sorrow.
Her words bring to life the hardships that the Jewish people in Poland had to bear during World War 2. This story is told through the eyes of one little Jewish boy.
Each poem is short, just long enough to bring to bear the message brought. The poems follows the one before, bringing the reader into the life of Moishe.
Themes can be found. The love for his family, the concern of good neighbours, not knowing who to trust, learning early how to protect yourself, the sense of community within the Jewish citizens. We also follow the despair and sometimes the hatred of being despised by most you meet, and yes, the hatred a boy ends up feeling at being bullied by everyone and the country they live in. It’s all very tangible in the words woven.
Hope occasionally raises it’s head. A brother with an escape plan, a convict saying “he’s my helper”, memories of his father’s voice “where there is hope, there is life”, and the kindness of women with bread. Hope brings courage, and through courage a boy survives. Through that hope, my love for humanity can be restored. Poignant words fill these pages.
Should you get this book?
Yes. Even if you aren’t doing a year long study on World War 2 get this book. Learn, grow, see. Feel the despair and be introduced to hope. You so need to read this book, my heart has been made so quiet.
I am looking forward to my son reading this book when we talk about the German treatment of the Jews. Making a guide for reading through it is something I need to do I think. It Rained Warm Bread will not just bring the horror to life, but also the immense sorrow, the loss that the Jewish people experienced.