Angel Girl
Laurie Friedman
Ofra Amit (illustrations)

I was nearly in tears when I finished this book a few minutes ago and considering my teen librarian’s similar reaction–get thee to thy library.

In a brief story that is all the more poignant for it’s simplicity Friedman tells of a young Jewish boy interned in a labor camp. Nearing starvation he one day spotted a girl through the fence. She gave him an apple and each day–for months–she would return to bring him an apple. After liberation he moved to England and then the United States. A friend set him up on a blind date with a young woman who seemed familiar. Over that first dinner they realized that he had been the boy in the camp and she, the girl who brought him apples.

Amit’s illustrations are simple and painfully evocative. While guards are present in the drawings and do carry weapons, they are not the focus and your eye is instead fully caught by this young boy trying to survive.

A beautiful story, very accessible for early elementary aged students. Go find a copy.

ETA 12/29/08: The “true” story behind this picture book has been revealed as something a Holocaust survivor made up for unclear reasons. *sigh*