Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Liesl's Ocean Rescue

Liesl's Ocean Rescue is a picture book by Barbara Krasner, illustrated by Avi Katz.  This moving story for children is based on a real life person, Liesl Joseph Loeb.  Liesl was 10 years old when she left Germany with her parents in 1939. They traveled with 900 other Jewish refugees on the MS St. Louis to Havana, Cuba.

Incredibly, the boat was turned away in Cuba and also could not find harbor in the United States.  Liesl's father negotiated with the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's Paris Office and found refuge for the boat's passengers.

This book has a powerful message for elementary school level children about Jewish history and the power of heroic people to overcome.  There is a historical note by the author at the end of the book, as well as a list of books and DVDs for further study.  

Liesl's Ocean Rescue is movingly told, with a narrative that begins in Germany in 1938 and ends with safety for the MS St. Louis passengers in 1939.  Liesl is a brave and inspiring girl, and she will capture the hearts of young readers.  The illustrations by Avi Katz are beautifully done.

I highly recommend this book for young readers, for classroom study, and for home libraries.   

About the Author and Illustrator:

Barbara Krasner is a historian and professor of creative writing. She publishes the popular blog, The Whole Megillah: The Writer’s Resource for Jewish-Themed Story. She runs workshops and conferences for Jewish writers at the Highlights Foundation and in conjunction with the Association of Jewish Libraries. Barbara has a B.A. in German from Douglass College, an M.B.A. in Marketing from the Rutgers Business School and an M.F.A. in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a candidate for the M.A. in Applied Historical Studies at William Paterson University.
Connect with Barbara Krasner online:

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Blog

Illustrator Avi Katz was born in Philadelphia where he studied in the Schechter and Akiba schools as well as the Fleischer Art Memorial. After three years at U.C. Berkeley he moved to Israel at age 20, where he graduated in Fine Arts from the Bezalel Art Academy. He was the staff artist of the Jerusalem Report Magazine from its first issue in 1990 until 2012, and is active in the international Cartooning for Peace program. He has illustrated over 160 books in Israel and the U.S. including the National Jewish Book Award winning JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible. His books have also won the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Honors four times and Israel’s Ze’ev Prize six times. His art has been exhibited in Israel, America and Europe.

Connect with Avi  Katz online:


Book Trailer:

Where To Buy The Book:


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I received this book from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.