The Tattered Prayer Book is a gentle introduction to the Holocaust for children ages 6-10. Ruthie discovers a secret about her father, while looking through a box of mementos from the ‘old country.’ As her father tells his surprising story, Ruthie learns a piece of her father’s story, a slice of Jewish history and the circumstances under which the family fled Nazi Germany. A burnt prayer book taken in secret from a destroyed synagogue after Kristallnacht offers solace to her father as a young boy, at the most difficult time in his life. Once safely settled in America, he tries to bury the prayer book along with his painful past. Many years later, sharing the story with Ruthie, allows father to heal and daughter to grow.
7 x 10 hard cover, 32 page illustrated
and is available at:
Baker & Taylor
Follett Library Resources
Follett Educational Services
John Reed Distribution (Australia)
or your favorite wholesaler
Ellen Bari is an author, educator and creator of award-winning multimedia, exhibits and programs for children and adults. She has worked with a wide array of clients including Sesame Workshop, PBS, Nickelodeon, American Express and Harper-Collins. An early pioneer of new media, Ellen was instrumental in developing the multimedia Learning Center for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Ellen’s other children’s book titles include Jumping Jenny, a PJ Library selection and Bank Street Best Children’s Book, and Ten Little Houses, an interactive ebook app.
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.
The Tattered Prayer Book is a recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award. The Mom’s Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Eleven-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow ; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; and LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books. Parents, educators, retailers and the media look for the Mom’s Choice Awards seal when selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
The Tattered Prayer Book is a winner of the FAPA (Florida Authors and Publishers Association)
2013 Gold Award in Children’s Fiction and
2013 Silver Award in Education.
The 2013 Moonbeam Awards were just recently announced and we are pleased to inform you The Tattered Prayer Book has done it again by receiving a silver award for category 15 – Pre-Teen Fiction (Mature Issues).
The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading. Each year’s entries are judged by expert panels of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages.
“What a sensitively written and beautifully illustrated book for parents, grandparents and educators to share with children! Ellen Bari’s simple yet moving story coupled with exquisite line drawings by Avi Katz make The Tattered Prayer Book an age-appropriate resource for younger readers. No graphic violence is depicted. A nonthreatening yet accurate picture of the historical era is conveyed. The warmth and rich traditions of Jewish family life are experienced. In a world sadly still characterized by prejudice, hate, and discrimination, our students can instead be taught respect, tolerance, and a responsible, humane citizenship. With the power and desire to change life for the better, our children remain our hope for the future.”
- Dr. Margaret Lincoln, the District Librarian for Lakeview Schools in Battle Creek, Michigan, has served as a Teacher Fellow with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“Children’s sense of fairness allows them to recognize prejudice and discrimination at a very early age. They can understand the harm done by a bully, the pain of the victim and the power of the bystander. It is never too early to teach children respect, tolerance and personal responsibility.
Read this book with your children, grandchildren, and students. Our children can learn that respect for all will insure that hate does not continue to breed violence. The Tattered Prayer Book is an opportunity to take a gentle first step.
There is a tension between remembering and forgetting. Some things are worth forgetting; others demand that we remember.
I kept thinking about memory and forgetfulness as I read Ellen Bari’s beautiful work The Tattered Prayer Book. Ruthie discovered a box which contained her family’s memories. She held a prayer book and confronted her father who had tried to forget the bad – his wonderful life in Germany that came to abrupt end with the Nazi rise to power. “Please remember for me, Daddy!” she begged.
And so her father remembered for her, for himself, for history. By remembering we honor the past and we give our children a more forthright understanding of the world in which we live. To remember is to honor the dead; more important, it is to serve the living and to grant them the chance to understand, to embrace and to transform.”
- Michael Berenbaum, Director Professor of Jewish Studies of American Jewish University (click of copy of actual letter)
“…This quiet book touches upon very important topics that is just as relevant today as they were at the time of the Holocaust – namely, bullying, battering and discrimination. The text is simple and age appropriate….This book should do well in elementary, social studies or citizenship class or as a jumping off point for discussions on bullying, acceptance, and individualism…”
- Rita Lorraine Hubbard, New York Journal of Book
(Click here for full review)
The question of how to teach the Holocaust to children remains a problem for parents and educators. Ostensibly aimed at children aged 6-10, this book is certainly a gentle introduction to the subject. Yet it does not shy away from the frightening aspects of this topic, both in its wording and in its illustrations. The lessons presented are certainly understandable for youngsters. Bullying, unfairness and the sadness of saying good-bye are concepts that they can grasp.
This reviewer witnessed the Night of Broken Glass in Germany as a teenager and can attest to the truthfulness of what is being described and depicted here. A word of caution, however:A child of 6 or 7 will need to be prepared carefully for any discussion of this sensitive material.
Susanne M. Batzdorff, Librarian, retired
Celia Gurevitch Library, Congregation Beth Ami, Santa Rosa, CA.