Hana’s Suitcase is the true story of Fumiko Ishioka, the director of a small Holocaust education centre for children in Japan, who received some artifacts, including an empty suitcase, for an exhibit she was organising to show the experience of children in the Auschwitz camp. Fumiko was captivated by the writing on the outside that identified its owner – Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Waisenkind (the German word for orphan). This mysterious inscription led Fumiko to a large investigation across the world (travelling to Europe and North America for clues) to discover the story of Hana Brady: Who was she? What happened to her? Her investigation leads her to 1938 Czechoslovakia where Hana was happily living with her parents and brother, George, until their life became a nightmare by the brutal invasion of the Nazis. This book is fascinating, chapters alternating between Fumiko’s and Hanna’s narration. I was unable to put it down until it was finished…
In the same book, the author has included a play version of this story. It was recently performed in Montreal, but I unfortunately missed it! It was apparently a fascinating performance… I will definitely not miss it the next time…
By reading this book, we see how, by finding a little girl’s suitcase, some people traveled back in time and in a way, brought her back to life, and made all of us aware of a dark side of history. This book is one of my all-time favorites. This book’s ending is at the same time, joyful and sad. I highly recommend it!!!
Rating: (5 / 5)
Release Date: 2002
Author: Karen Levine
Age Suggestion: 9 and plus
Publisher: Margie Wolfe