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Author: Wiviott, Meg
Publisher: Margaret k. McElderry Books/ Simon & Schuster
Year Published: 2015
ISBN: 9781481439831
Grades: Grades 7-12

Paper Hearts

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In her first novel for young adults, author Meg Wiviott crafts a novel in memorable free verse to share the true story of two Jewish girls enslaved in Auschwitz during World War II. Using alternating entries, Zlatka and Fania give the reader intimate glimpses into the atrocities of Nazi concentration camps in a heartbreaking yet beautiful story of friendship, hope and love in the midst of brutality, hate and death. Zlatka makes Fania an origami birthday heart, stealing, swapping and bartering to get the materials, then secretly having the other young women add their wishes – a heart that survives unimaginable horrors in the prison, the gruelling Death Marches at the end of the war, and immigration to Canada. In a postscript, the author details what is historical fact and what is fictionalized in this well-researched novel in verse that also includes a glossary of Yiddish and Jewish words. This compelling story will  haunt the reader as the portrayal of friendship rises above the dismal to suggest hope and the resilience of human spirit in a tender but tortured tale.

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