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Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued



written and illustrated by
Peter Sis

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
Imprint
Norton Young Readers
ISBN
9781324015741
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War , Discrimination: Religious
$21.06   $17.55
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Caldecott Honoree and Sibert Medalist Peter Sís honors a man who saved hundreds of children from the Nazis.

In 1938, twenty-nine-year-old Nicholas Winton saved the lives of almost 700 children trapped in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia—a story he never told and that remained unknown until an unforgettable TV appearance in the 1980s reunited him with some of the children he saved.

Czech-American artist, MacArthur Fellow, and Andersen Award winner Peter Sís dramatizes Winton’s story in this distinctive and deeply personal picture book. He intertwines Nicky’s efforts with the story of one of the children he saved—a young girl named Vera, whose family enlisted Nicky’s aid when the Germans occupied their country. As the war passes and Vera grows up, she must find balance in her dual identities—one her birthright, the other her choice.

Nicky & Vera is a masterful tribute to a humble man’s courageous efforts to protect Europe’s most vulnerable, and a timely portrayal of the hopes and fears of those forced to leave their homes and create new lives.Author’s note, with photograph of Nicholas Winton. Resources. Full-color illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War , Discrimination: Religious

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

64

Trim Size

12" x 9"

Dewey

B

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

May 2021

Book Genres

Narrative Nonfiction, Picture Book

Topics

Nicholas Winton (1909–2015). Righteous Gentiles in the Holocaust. World War II (1939–1945). Jewish children in the Holocaust. Rescue of Jews. Czechoslovakia. England. 

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

At the end of 1938, when the Germans invaded the border region of Czechoslovakia, a young Englishman named Nicky arranged for the transport of 669 children from there to England, where they were settled with families to live out the war. In this remarkable book, Sis weaves Nicky’s story with that of Vera, a Czech child who was one of those Nicky saved. The story does not end with the transport but includes the post-war years as Vera returns to Czechoslovakia in search of her parents and cousins (none survived) and returns to England for good; and as Nicky’s quiet, productive life unfolds. Sis tells this multi-stranded tale in prose that is as understated as Nicholas Winton (as Nicky is eventually identified in the back matter) was himself and illustrations that capture the complexity and heartbreaking emotion of the tale. For example, Vera kept a diary during the war, and Sis illustrates the years during which Vera lives with her foster family against a grid of diary pages; small squares include drawings such as a child with a violin, fish and chips, and a radio, all representing her years growing up in England. On subsequent pages, text overlays more journal ages, these covered with minuscule handwriting as time passes and Vera searches for family. In a final spread, when an elderly Nicholas Winton is publicly recognized for his quiet heroism and introduced to the adults he saved as children, each adult faces a seated Winton, and, inside each outline, Sis has drawn the child they were when they left Czechoslovakia. This is an exceptional story told with a powerful combination of words and pictures to engage both those who know some history of the Holocaust and those new to the topic. An appended author’s note tells more about Nicholas Winton and Vera Diamantova. MAEVE VISSER KNOTH

Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

At the end of 1938, when the Germans invaded the border region of Czechoslovakia, a young Englishman named Nicky arranged for the transport of 669 children from there to England, where they were settled with families to live out the war. In this remarkable book, Sis weaves Nicky’s story with that of Vera, a Czech child who was one of those Nicky saved. The story does not end with the transport but includes the post-war years as Vera returns to Czechoslovakia in search of her parents and cousins (none survived) and returns to England for good; and as Nicky’s quiet, productive life unfolds. Sis tells this multi-stranded tale in prose that is as understated as Nicholas Winton (as Nicky is eventually identified in the back matter) was himself and illustrations that capture the complexity and heartbreaking emotion of the tale. For example, Vera kept a diary during the war, and Sis illustrates the years during which Vera lives with her foster family against a grid of diary pages; small squares include drawings such as a child with a violin, fish and chips, and a radio, all representing her years growing up in England. On subsequent pages, text overlays more journal ages, these covered with minuscule handwriting as time passes and Vera searches for family. In a final spread, when an elderly Nicholas Winton is publicly recognized for his quiet heroism and introduced to the adults he saved as children, each adult faces a seated Winton, and, inside each outline, Sis has drawn the child they were when they left Czechoslovakia. This is an exceptional story told with a powerful combination of words and pictures to engage both those who know some history of the Holocaust and those new to the topic. An appended author’s note tells more about Nicholas Winton and Vera Diamantova. MAEVE VISSER KNOTH

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