• Jan MacWatters

Optimism and Success: YA Literature that Highlights the Connection


Morris, Heather. The Tattooist of Auschwitz. 2018

This book came highly recommended and I couldn’t wait to read it over the break. As a huge fan of historical fiction, I thought I knew what to expect, but having just read some great articles on vision boards and setting goals for the new year, I have to admit that this book made me think about the importance of optimism in our lives. How on earth did people survive some of the most incomprehensible cruelty this world has known, and come through it? How did they go on to lead relatively normal lives after the war? Many people survived, but what role did optimism play in their survival? Certainly, they were different people after the war was over, but Heather Morris manages to catch the sense of humanity, love and awareness and acceptance of what needed to be done without sacrificing the story. She highlights the importance of handling a tough situation with an eye to the future. What a great lesson for us today Read more about the importance of optimism here.

A great read, for the story, but more importantly for the ability to show the importance of believing in a great future… Here’s to everyone with a dream... and the courage to pursue it.

Highly Recommended for grades 9 and up. The holocaust is a tough topic, and younger students might struggle to understand the references to rape and prostitution and the inhumanity of the situation. This is a great book to use as a discussion starter, Click here for a list of possible questions to get started.

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