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Mara's Stories: Glimmers in the Darkness by…

Mara's Stories: Glimmers in the Darkness (original 2001; edition 2008)

by Gary Schmidt

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653183,505 (4.63)16
Title:Mara's Stories: Glimmers in the Darkness
Authors:Gary Schmidt
Info:Square Fish (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Wishlist, Read but unowned
Tags:hope, holocaust, war, children in war, heroes, hassidic story type, folklore, author study, death camps, concentration camps, history, world war II, read aloud, chapter

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Mara's Stories: Glimmers in the Darkness by Gary Schmidt (2001)



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While appropriate for its juvenile audience, this collection of stories told by the child Mara at night in the barracks of a concentration camp has depth to engross and enlighten an adult audience. Woven from Rabbinic and Hasidic tales,these are tales of endurance, hope, tragedy, and humor. ( )
  markon | Oct 31, 2011 |
It is not surprising that I rate this book so highly, given the fact that Gary Schmidt's books The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy were two of my top reads in 2009.

Once again Schmidt wove magic with his astute understanding of human nature and his fantastic writing ability that hooks you in and keeps you riveted from the first to the last page.

Using Rabbinical stories, tellings of Hasidic traditions, folktales and actual recollections from the concentrations camps, Schmidt uses the voice of young Mara, who from the cold, fearful barracks, weaves stories at night to bring a glimmer to the darkness of the horror all around.

While not an easy book to read, it is indeed a subject that needs to be told again and again. Schmidt's delivery packs a breathtaking punch, while also astounding the reader with stories of hope and the depth of faith and fortitude of six million Jews who died at the hands of an evil power.

When I finished the book, I once again marveled at the strength not only of those who perished, but of those who survive and know the depth and resiliency of a wonderful faith with the supreme understanding that love is indeed the highest power.

Of interest is the back of the book which contains the actual resources Schmidt chose to use as a reference for Mara's stories. ( )
5 vote Whisper1 | Jan 1, 2011 |
In the night and fog of a concentration camp, women and children gather at night to listen to stories told by a prisoner named Mara, the daughter of a rabbi. The stories are adapted from Jewish lore; the listening is an act of resistance. ( )
  STBA | Dec 7, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805067949, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Each evening, in one of the barracks of a Nazi death camp, a woman shares stories that push back the darkness, cold, and fear, bringing hope to the women and children who listen.

(summary from another edition)

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