Hana's Suitcase: The Quest to Solve a Holocaust Mystery
Paperback – January 5, 2016
In March 2000, Fumiko Ishioka, the curator of a small Holocaust education center in Tokyo, received an empty suitcase from the museum at Auschwitz. On the outside, in white paint, were the words “Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Orphan.”
Fumiko and the children at the center were determined to find out who Hana was and what happened to her all those years ago, leading them to a startling and emotional discovery.
The dual narrative intertwines Fumiko’s international journey to find the truth about Hana Brady’s fate with Hana’s own compelling story of her life in a quiet Czech town, which is shattered by the arrival of the Nazis, tearing apart the family she loves. This suspense-filled work of investigative nonfiction draws in young readers and makes them active participants in the search for Hana’s identity.
Praise for Hana’s Suitcase
• “Hana wanted to become a teacher, and surely through this little book her dream is being realized.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from his new foreword to Hana’s Suitcase
• “The account . . . is part history, part suspenseful mystery . . . with an incredible climactic revelation.” —Booklist
From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—The recipient of multiple honors, this moving title simultaneously shines a spotlight on the life of a young Holocaust victim and makes the process of exploring and unraveling history relevant and exciting. In 2000, after receiving an empty child's suitcase from a museum in Auschwitz labeled "Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Orphan," Fumiko Ishioka, curator of a Holocaust museum in Tokyo, decided to track down Hana and discover what happened to her. Alternating between describing Hana's life in Czechoslovakia as the Nazis came to power and following Ishioka's process of learning about the girl's story, Levine creates tension and drama as readers slowly uncover Hana's fate. Bonus material includes notes from Levine, Ishioka, and Hana's brother, George Brady; photographs from Hana's childhood and from Ishioka's and Levine's travels and visits; and memories from those who knew Hana and her family.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal
About the Author
Karen Levine is the recipient of two Peabody Awards for her radio work. She originally produced Hana’s Suitcase as a radio documentary that won a gold medal at the New York International Radio Festival. Karen lives in Toronto, Ontario.