A testament to the power of stories, and how they may bring hope even in times of darkness.
"Everyone gathers around, and from her lips to their ears the stories go, and for a little while the camp disappears, and for a little while they are all free."
As night falls, the women gather their children to listen to Mara tell her stories. They are stories of light and hope and freedom, stories of despair and stories of miracles, stories of expected pain and stories of unexpected joy--all told in the darkness of the concentration camp barracks.
Through extensive research noted in the back of the book, Gary Schmidt has skillfully woven together stories from such sources as the Jewish religious scholar, Martin Buber, Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel; and folklorists, Steve Zeitlin and Yaffa Eliach.
Combining lore of the past with tales born in the concentration camps, Mara's stories speak to us from a time that must never be forgotten.
Stories in the Darkness
It always seems to be night in the camps--or at least it always seems to be dark.
Somewhere the sun must come up every morning. Somewhere...
Praise for Mara's Stories
“[Schmidt] leaves specific atrocities between the lines, but effectively conveys a sense of the time's ‘soul terror,' adding a leavening of humor and plenty of searching, not-easily-answered questions for the young readers to ponder. Gold, indeed.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The twenty-three stories . . . are sometimes funny, often sad, but always profound.” —Voice of Youth Advocates
“Schmidt's retellings are succinct and dramatic; stories of miraculous endurance, impossible escapes, and final redemption are presented with a brevity that never undercuts their power.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books