The Year of Goodbyes: A True Story of Friendship, Family, and Farewells

The Year of Goodbyes: A True Story of Friendship, Family, and Farewells

by Debbie Levy

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Like other girls, Jutta Salzberg enjoyed playing with friends, going to school, and visiting relatives. In Germany in 1938, these everyday activities were dangerous for Jews. Jutta and her family tried to lead normal lives, but soon they knew they had to escape—if they could, before it was too late. Throughout 1938, Jutta had her friends and relatives fill her poesiealbum—her autograph book—with inscriptions. Her daughter, Debbie Levy, used these entries as a springboard for telling the story of the Salzberg family's last year in Germany. It was a year of change and chance, confusion and cruelty. It was a year of goodbyes

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781423151005
Publisher: Disney Press
Publication date: 04/07/2015
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 8 MB
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Debbie Levy's ( article for The Washington Post about her mother's escape from Nazi Germany led to a reunion between Jutta and former classmates from Hamburg. Debbie wrote The Year of Goodbyes in consultation with her mother to reflect Jutta's voice, feelings, and thoughts as a girl. Debbie lives in Maryland, and is the author of a number of other books for young readers, including We Shall Overcome, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.

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Year of Goodbyes: A True Story of Friendship, Family and Farewells 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
In The Year of Goodbyes, author Debbie Levy takes a fresh approach to memoir and the story of German Jews in the late 1930s. The book takes place in the year 1938, when Jutta Salzberg, Levy's mother, is a 12-year-old girl living in Hamburg, Germany. Restrictions against Jews have gotten tighter during the last few years, and her father is desperate to leave with his family for the U.S., where he has relatives who will sponsor him. They have permission from German officials and the money to book transportation, but visas from the U.S. are slow to come. Jutta certainly is aware of the tensions, but she's also concerned with the same things any 12-year-old girl would be-school, friends, her pet bird, and the neighbors in her building. Each day that goes by brings news of someone else who has disappeared, and often Jutta hears Nazi boots in the stairwell of her own building as soldiers come to take away neighbors. Salzberg's family managed to leave Germany for France and finally the U.S., departing just before Kristallnacht, otherwise known as Night of Broken Glass, when the Nazis destroyed many Jewish homes and businesses. When Jutta Salzberg left, one of the few treasures she took with her was her poesiealbum, an autograph book filled with inscriptions, verse and drawings, all written to Jutta by her friends and relatives. Each chapter of The Year of Goodbyes highlights a page from the poesiealbum and notes from Jutta's diary entries around the same time. The result is a simple, but moving account of everyday people, living everyday lives in an extraordinary time. Salzberg and her family knew they were leaving friends and family behind to move across an ocean; they never imagined the fate that awaited those who could not or did not leave. The book is even more poignant because Levy includes notes on her research and her discoveries about what happened to each of the friends who wrote in her mother's poesiealbum during the year as well as the fate of the Salzberg family's relatives. Photos of many of the people also brings Jutta's story to life. The heart of this book can be found on the pages from the poesiealbum. I was struck by how thoughtful the writings were, and the sentiments they expressed. They show a maturity that seems uncommon for 12 year olds of today. The Year of Goodbyes may be quick to read, but the words will linger in your mind for a long time to come. I recommend this book for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 12 and up.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A translation and editing of a memory book and diary kept by a young girl living in Hamburg as the Nazi's Nuremberg Laws took effect.
prkcs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book tells the true story of what happened to a 12-year-old girl named Jutta (Debbie Levy¿s mother) in 1938. Actual entries in a posiealbum (autograph book) serve as stepping stones in a crucial year in history before WWII.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Liked this book because it talks about what the people past through during the Holocaust,and it makes you reflect and appreciate what you have.