Editor’s note: Librarian Maria is reviewing a series of books on bullying. Here’s her latest post.
Author: Kathryn Lasky
I thought I’d deviate a bit from the bully novels on my list, mostly because I really loved this book! It also made me think of bullying in a different way. Ashes takes place in Berlin, 1932, just as Hitler is rising to power. Thirteen year old Gabriella is not Jewish, but many of their family friends are. As Hitler gains power and popularity, the Jewish community is slowly ostracized. Gabriella watches in disgust as classmates, a teacher and good family friends begin to feel the negative effects of Hitler’s influence. More shocking to Gabriella, however, are how some of the people she respected and admired begin to disengage from the Jews and appear to believe and support Hitler’s propaganda. Then there are those who just stand by and watch but do nothing. Gabriella watches in horror as the community she loves gets torn to shreds. She doesn’t understand how something like this could happen.
How does a small group of people or individual in a society or classroom decide who will be the victim? What do you think?