Second Story Press Launches Hana’s Suitcase Anniversary Album on April 19th, Holocaust Remembrance DayWednesday, April 18th, 2012
Last month at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair I visited the stall of Second Story Press, a Canadian publisher dedicated to publishing feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers. One of their books on display that immediately caught my eye was the soon-to-be-released Hana’s Suitcase Anniversary Album.
The original book Hana’s Suitcase, written by Karen Levine, tells the story of Japanese educator Fumiko Ishioka’s search for information about a young Jewish girl who was murdered at Auschwitz. In the spring of 2000, Fumiko, the curator of a small Holocaust education centre for children in Tokyo, received a shipment from the Auschwitz museum that included an empty suitcase marked “Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Orphan”. Fumiko and the children at the centre decided to find out what became of Hana. The heartbreaking story they uncovered of a brave young girl killed in the Holocaust and survived only by her brother, George, was captured in Karen Levine’s book that the world took into its heart. Hana’s Suitcase was published in 2002 and became an immediate international sensation. It has since been published in 40 countries and 29 languages, and has spawned many stage and screen adaptations around the world. It is Canada’s most awarded children’s book of all time and remains a school staple around the world. The United Nations uses it in over 100 outposts, Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote a foreword for the book, and Michelle Obama was presented with a copy during an official visit to Prague.
Hana’s Suitcase Anniversary Album celebrates the 10th anniversary of the publication of Hana’s Suitcase with 60 pages of additional material – including artwork and writing by children, parents and teachers inspired by the book; memories from Hana’s childhood neighbours; images from the book’s foreign editions and stage and screen adaptations throughout the world; and updates from author Karen Levine; Hana’s brother, George Brady; and Fumiko Ishioka. It will be published on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 19th, and will also be available as an enhanced eBook via the iBookstore (visit www.itunes.com/hanassuitcase or www.iTunes.com/iBookstore). In celebration of the launch check out this feature on the CBC Books website, visit www.hanassuitcase.ca and also visit the the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre’s website to see their education program around Hana’s Suitcase at www.mhmc.ca/en/pages/elementary.