Ludwig, Trudy. Gifts from the Enemy. illus. by Craig Orback. 32p. glossary. White Cloud. 2014. Tr $17. ISBN 9781935952978.
Gr 4-6–Ludwig bases this picture book on Alter Wiener’s memoir, From a Name to a Number: A Holocaust Survivor’s Autobiography (AuthorHouse, 2007). In a first-person narration, Wiener explains that he was 13 when the German soldiers killed his father; he was 15 when the Nazis came for him. The descriptions of his experiences in the concentration camps are accompanied by Orback’s Norman Rockwell–like illustrations that convey the horror of the time period. The brightly hued illustrations of the small town of Chrzanow are in stark contrast to the dark and agonizing depictions of the camps. Among the darkness and despair, however, came an unexpected gift from the enemy: a German factory worker left him a sandwich every day for the 30 days he worked in the building. The book concludes with an afterword by Wiener, a paragraph explaining the Holocaust, vocabulary, discussion questions, and recommended activities. Teachers will want to read this story as an introduction to the Holocaust or to spark discussion about the importance of kindness in all of our lives.