Back in February I was part of the Cybils Award panel for Poetry. I have written about a few of the books but not all. This week I was reminded of one of the finalists....Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott.
Like many people this week I was intrigued by the story of the Auschwitz mug that had hidden jewelry under a false bottom.
Link to the story
I am always amazed to learn a different aspect of history. When I read Paper Hearts, which is based on a true story, I learned how some victims fought to survive in concentration camps during World War II. The young girls in the story tried to retain who they were by doing little things. Such as wearing a silky shirt under their uniforms or sharing their food with others. Even if it meant punishment when caught. The title refers to an origami heart that is made in secret as a birthday card for another girl. It is this simple act which helped these courageous girls retain their dignity and personality. It is a very powerful story that resonates even today. It is definitely a crossover YA to adult novel.
The "paper heart" is real and can be seen in the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. These are real items--- the heart and the mug.....real items that stand as a testament of people who suffered and serve as a reminder of the human spirit.