In this month's Amazon Vine offering was a slew of books (yippee!). Of the two items I could select, one that I chose was a book of fiction which the publisher states is for ages 10-14. That age category is not the 9-12 of juvenile fiction nor the 12-16 of the young adult genre.
This book is set in Germany under Hitler's regime. The title is T4: a novel and the author is Ann Clare LeZotte.
When the book arrived I was quite surprised. There is something unique about this book that I did not realize when I ordered the book. The excellent and unique thing is that the story is told entirely in verse. The book is a collection of many different poems which progress through the plot (it is not one long poem).
The main character is a thirteen year old girl whose mother was exposed to Rubella while pregnant. She could hear until she was 16 months old but when she got a fever she suddenly became deaf. The story is about Tiergartenstrasse 4, or T4, where Hitler had orders to kill any physically disables or mentally ill person. This girl leaves her family and goes into hiding to try to escape execution.
I have only just begun reading this story. At 108 pages I am sure I will go through it quickly but I have a feeling the emotional impact will be strong.
I think the fact that this is written in a series of poems makes it a unique format that would be interesting and useful to use in the classroom in homeschools, to teach literature and world history. Perhaps this would be a good segue for students to open themselves up to reading poetry, or to at the very least, not hate it. Lastly reluctant readers should not be intimdated by the short poems and it may be one of the first books they read about the Holocaust that they are not intimidated to read, opening the topic up to them possibly for the first time.
Technorati Tags: T4, teaching world history, stories told through verse, deaf fiction, historical fiction.