YAL - Young Adult Literature Presenter Unit 2011/2012







Terezin - Voices from the Holocaust

by Ruth Thomas


What World is Left

by Monique Polak


YAL Presenter Unit 2011/2012

Subjects: Reading
Grade Level: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Posted: 2011
, CCSS, Common Core State Standards

Unit Created by: Beverly Rowls & Heather Patay

What makes this a good YAL choice...


Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust and What World is Left were used as companion texts for the 2011 Young Adult Literature Conference. It was the pairing of an informational text with a historical novel. The two books were selected to develop a holistic understanding of events surrounding one particular concentration camp during The Holocaust and the quasi-biographical events of a novel that took place at the same place and time. Students were asked to compare and contrast events from historical fiction with information from the non-fiction book.

Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust by Ruth Thomson
Most Illinois young people will have heard of The Holocaust and the death camps by middle school and high school but they may not have heard of this one. The Terezin concentration camp was where the artists were sent to use their skills to aid in the creation of Nazi propaganda; propaganda that sent the message that the Jewish people were being well treated. With this text, the reader is immediately drawn into firsthand accounts from survivors who were there. Their stories are told through the use of secret diary entries, artwork, and excerpts from memoirs and recordings narrated after the war. Young people receive a visual timeline lesson that portrays the strength of the human will to endure, to create, and to survive.

What World is Left by Monique Polak
Our heroine, Anneke, is living a normal teenage life in 1943 Holland where the fact that she is Jewish had little impact on her life. Then the Nazis invaded Holland and she is deported, along with her entire family, to the Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp where thousands of Jewish people endured horrific conditions and treatment before being sent off to the gas chambers. Anneke is only 14 but what she emotionally experiences can connect with young people of any ethnicity. The novel is based on the experiences of the author’s mother, who survived two years in Theresienstadt but did not speak about it for more than 60 years. The story brings out many questions that can lead to a more in-depth examination of how different countries and organizations failed to come to the aid of the European Jews during World War II.

YAL Conference Workshop Description

Terezin - A Model Concentration Camp? Blending Fiction (What World is Left) and Non-fiction (Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust) to Learn about the Holocaust
Beverly Rowls and Heather Patay, Presenters

When, where and how did you first learn about the Holocaust? How did it impact you? What questions or concerns did it raise for you? Why teach about events that happened so many years ago? We teach our children to give them the power to prevent events like this from ever happening again.  Yet it is often difficult for students to develop a holistic understanding of events and how content material comes together to tell a story that is meaningful to them.  In this workshop we will demonstrate ways to have students become THIEVES as they preview non-fiction text then compare and contrast information from it with events in a historical novel. Join us as we explore this and other strategies for using fiction and non-fiction texts together to support students’ comprehension.  What World is Left, historical-fiction, will be paired with Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust, non-fiction text. - Workshop Description for YAL 2011




Unit Template


Agenda for Workshop




Critical Literacy Handout


Handout with Activities and Template