Book by Book: Building a future of empathy and respect one book at a time.
When students learn about the Holocaust, they learn the importance of speaking out for others, the dangers of intolerance and prejudice, and the difference one person can make.
When schools closed in March, the Holocaust Center for Humanity responded quickly by creating the Book by Book Program, which sends a free book to any Washington State student in grades 5-12. No strings attached.
Since that time, we have mailed out hundreds of books and will continue to do so.
Teachers - Looking for teaching materials for these books? You can find them HERE.
The Holocaust Center for Humanity is dedicated to providing access to quality Holocaust education for students throughout Washington State.
Free books for students.
In order to serve our students, the Holocaust Center for Humanity's Book By Book program will provide free books to middle and high school students.
(While supplies lasts. If the title you request is no longer available, we will contact you.)
Number the Stars. By Lois Lowry
Recommended for Grades 5-6. Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943, and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated", Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life.
The Yellow Star House: The Remarkable Story of One Boy's Survival In a Protected House In Hungary. By Paul V. Regelbrugge (2019)
Recommended for Grades 8-12. Between May 15 and July 9, 1944, over 440,000 Hungarian Jews were deported and, most were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The sole exception was the Jews in Budapest. In October 1944, Nazi Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann, with the eager assistance of the Hungarian fascist Arrow Cross party, initiated plans to finish off the Jews of Budapest even as the Soviet Red Army was rapidly advancing, and ultimately laid siege on Budapest in December 1944. This is the story of how one Jewish boy and 400 others were protected in a "yellow star house." The house was converted
into a hospital run by Jewish doctors designed to treat everyone -- even their wounded enemies, free of charge. The Jewish residents were ultimately saved in this way by a man who posed as an Arrow Cross officer and risked his own life countless times while over 70,000 Jews were being murdered at the Danube or dying in ghettos. The Yellow Star House is a story of courage, family, hope, rescue and luck.
Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation. By David Polonsky (2018)
Recommended for Grades 9-12. Adapted by Ari Folman, illustrated by David Polonsky, and authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation in Basel, this is the first graphic edition of The Diary and includes extensive quotation directly from the definitive edition. It remains faithful to the original, while the stunning illustrations interpret and add layers of visual meaning and immediacy to this classic work of Holocaust literature. (Amazon) (Recommended for grades 9-12)
Night. By Elie Wiesel
Recommended for Grades 9-12. It is 1944. The Jews of Sighet, Hungary are rounded up and driven into Nazi concentration camps. For the next terrible year, young Elie Wiesel experiences the loss of everything he loves — home, friends, family — in an agonizing journey through Birkenau, Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald. The greatest tragedy of our time, told through the eyes of a 15-year old boy.
Night is a terrifying account of the Nazi death-camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family, his innocence, and his god. Penetrating and powerful, as personal as The Diary of Anne Frank, Night awakens the shocking memory of evil at its absolute and carries with it the unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.
Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be. (Scholastic)
- Titles are available while supplies lasts. If the title you requested is no longer available, we will contact you.
- Each student may request one book.
- The book will be mailed to the student's home.
- Each book will come with critical thinking questions for students to consider or discuss.
- Please submit one request form for each student.
- Due to availability, we are unable able to send multiple copies of the same title to one household.
- Complete the online request form below. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Please note: Books are available only to students in Washington State. We will notify you when your book is being sent. Books may take 2-3 weeks to arrive after your request is submitted.
Support this program! $35 gives a student a book!
A huge thank you to Mary & Roger Lowe and Cathy & Howard Lowen for their generous sponsorship of this program and to the others who have helped to put these books into the hands of students.
Please consider supporting the Book by Book program today with a small donation of $35 to send one book to one student.
"Literature offers students an opportunity to connect with another human being through storytelling. Holocaust books in particular give students a unique perspective of human connection when faced with unthinkable adversity. Our kids will choose to read these books because they want to connect with themes of empathy, resilience, and love." - Casie Grave, teacher at Coupeville Middle School
Are the books new or used?
The books are brand new.
What safety measures are you taking considering the COVID-19 epidemic?
Books are packaged using gloves and will be wiped down prior to packaging.
How old do students need to be to request a book?
Books are for students in grades 5-12.
My student is not in Washington State. Can I request a book?
At this time, we are only giving books to students in Washington State.
Are students who receive books required to do something?
We know that all students are working with different pressures, abilities, and support. While not required, students are encouraged to do one (or more!) of the following:
- Participate! Join one of our virtual discussion groups about your book with other students who received the book and Holocaust Center staff. Details will be emailed to students.
Do I need to return the book?
No - this book is for you to keep. If you no longer want it, you can return it to the Holocaust Center and we will use it in our Holocaust Teaching Trunks. Or you can pass it on to a friend, a teacher, or your school library.
How is this program funded?
This program is funded by our generous donors who are dedicated to supporting education and recognize the importance of studying the Holocaust.