A podcast about books from the Larissa Gerstel Critical Literacy Collection at American University in Washington DC.
Good observation! It makes me wonder what age is appropriate to start showing these images too (along with a discussion of what they are seeing and how it affects them of course). Sometimes it's easy to forget that pictures can tell more of a story than words. -Danielle
I think you did an excellent job explaining the deficits of the book and providing solutions to the issue. I was shocked just hearing you describe the pictures! - definitely not something I would want young children I know to see. I agree that a picture book would be a much better medium for young children. It is important for children to learn history but at younger ages it may be best to approach the topic of violence towards others in more general terms.
You made some great points about the appropriateness and the guidance necessary to use books such as "The Children We Remember" in a classroom setting. It sounds that the book is very graphic and needs to be introduced to children at a mature age. Overall you made important observations about the ways to integrate children's literature when discussing issues in history. -Maddie
I remember seeing this book in class and I was very interested in it. While the photos were difficult to handle and process, I do feel it is important to teach young children about the Holocaust. I agree that illustrations could have been used, but the simplicity of the words in the book allows children to have a great conversation about the subject. I also believe this is a book that can be used across a wide variety of ages from late elementary school to early high school. It's simple words and detailed pictures provide a real understanding of what went on during this time. The pictures do not sugarcoat the Holocaust and I believe that is important.
I found this podcast interesting because many are not in accord with when it is appropriate to teach the young about sensitive issues and how best to convey these issues. Parents should be able to gage whether their child is mature enough to handle certain issues, but this of course is not as easy as it sounds. Abell took a risk by including certain photographs in the story, which I found necessary simply because there aren’t many children’s books of that nature for reasons we understand. But what would happen if most historical accounts were bluntly stated in children’s books? Children wouldn’t understand, or misunderstand but what would they do with those misunderstandings? I think that when trying to answer your question “at what point is it age appropriate to teach children about the holocaust?” and “what is the best way to teach children about this subject matter?” we should think about the consequences of teaching children the way it is presented in Abell’s story and also the consequences of using a more “age-appropriate” or “less-graphic” illustrations.