Oskar and the Eight Blessings

Book Summary: 

Young Oskar is sent from his home by his parents to protect him from the violence in Nazi Europe in the 1930s. Leaving home is scary enough, but Oskar has been sent alone to America to live with an aunt he’s never met. Oskar’s parents have taught him the value of blessings which he receives at the hands of strangers as he ventures to his aunt’s home on Broadway Avenue in New York City.

Year: 
2015
Author: 
Tanya Simon and Richard Simon
Illustrator: 
Mark Siegel
Publisher: 
Roaring Brook Press
Guiding Question: 

What do you think about the tone of this book? Why do you think the authors chose to write this story rather than the story of a Jewish child who stayed in his homeland during this time?

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- Read the Author’s Note at the end of the book including the description of Kristallnacht. What do you think about Oskar’s parents’ advice in light of what you’ve just read?

Empathy- What kinds of thoughts led Oskar’s parents to make their decision to send such a young boy to America alone?

Advocacy- Research the plight of the Jews in Nazi Europe. Did anyone advocate for them? Why or why not?

Action- Are there groups of people in the world today in which the term pogrom is a reality rather than a term they’re merely reading about? Can you bring attention to their suffering?