More Than Any Child Should Know: A Kindertransport Story of the Holocaust
By Paul Regelbrugge and Julia Thompson
Artwork by Sean Dougherty
"This book is expertly written and illustrated in a way that will keep any grade schooler’s attention while learning about the heartache and turmoil during this dark period of time." - Public speaker and educator Jeannie Opdyke Smith
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What is it like for a child of eight to leave the only home he’s ever known, traveling alone by land and sea to an uncertain future? On the eve of World War II, this was the journey of young Steve Adler. Born in 1930 to a German-Jewish family, Steve was one of the lucky ones: finding refuge from persecution and danger during the Holocaust in England and later the United States.
This true story takes the reader swirling along with moments in history as seen through Steve’s eyes: from the moment his happy world in Berlin was shattered; to separation, evacuation, and foster homes in England; and finally, to stability and strength in the United States. Steve’s refugee story transcends time and place to illuminate the costs of war and bigotry, while also offering a beacon of human hope and resilience.
Steve later emigrated to the United States, ultimately settling in Seattle, Washington. Throughout his adult life, Steve used his story to champion the importance of Holocaust education as a longstanding member of the Holocaust Center for Humanity's Speakers Bureau.
About the Authors:
Watch a timelapse video to see Sean's creative process:
Learning about the events and details surrounding the Holocaust are a must. However, because of the cruelty and unimaginable crimes against humanity, teaching the subject to children can be difficult at best. The book, More Than Any Child Should Know, shares the true account of one 8 year old Jewish boy, whose life was forever changed by the events of the Holocaust. The reader follows young Stefan and his family as history unfolds from its subtle beginning through its end. This book is expertly written and illustrated in a way that will keep any grade schooler’s attention while learning about the heartache and turmoil during this dark period of time. I highly recommend the book as a good introduction to a very large and important topic. As a child of a survivor and rescuer, I know firsthand the necessity to keep history alive by sharing and teaching the message about what hate and prejudice can do, and how even one person can make a difference in doing something to help. - Jeannie Opdyke Smith, public speaker, educator, and daughter of Holocaust rescuer Irene Gut Opdyke
With More Than Any Child Should Know, the Holocaust Center for Humanity offers teachers and students across grade levels a resource that engages the reader with the story of the Alder family and carefully situates their experience within the larger scope of the Holocaust. While the interplay between the image and text in graphic novel offers teachers a range of opportunities to engage students in critical thinking through multimodal reading, the book also strategically integrates primary sources within the imagery of the book that prompts a more sophisticated layer of thinking for students. Aligned to Stefan “Steve” Adler’s goal in sharing his story, the authors smartly refer to various topics ranging from Japanese incarceration to Holocaust memorialization and, thus, provide teachers and students with starting points for civics-based, justice-oriented inquiry beyond More Than Any Child Should Know. - Dr. Jeff Eargle, Clinical Assistant Professor in Secondary Humanities Education, University of South Carolina
A poignant and beautifully illustrated tribute to Steve Adler, who shared memories of his boyhood in Nazi Germany, escape to Great Britain on the Kindertransport, and immigration to the United States with thousands of children in his lifetime. Through this book, full of honesty, humor, and historical context, Adler’s bravery and empathy will inspire many more generations. Highly recommended. - Rebecca Erbelding, historian and author of Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America's Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe
Discussion questions & writing prompts: Click Here
Borrow a classroom book set of 35 copies! Plus check out other Holocaust Teaching Trunks with recommended texts.
Very special thanks to donors Krijn & Judy de Jonge, Debbie Killinger, and Michele Rosen for making this project possible.