WASHINGTON, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Disney-Hyperion Books has just released the paperback edition of The Year of Goodbyes, Debbie Levy's award-winning book that tells the story of her mother's last year living as a girl in Nazi Germany in 1938.
Among other honors, The Year of Goodbyes is a Parents' Choice Award winner, Sydney Taylor Notable Book, and a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book.
In starred reviews, Kirkus found The Year of Goodbyes "an immensely powerful experience" and School Library Journal called it "an outstanding and emotionally taut read."
Publishers Weekly wrote, "Artfully weaving together her mother's poesiealbum (autograph/poetry album), diary, and her own verse, Levy crafts a poignant portrait of her Jewish mother's life in 1938 Nazi Germany that crackles with adolescent vitality."
Throughout 1938, the author's mother, Jutta Salzberg, filled her poesiealbum with inscriptions and drawings from friends and relatives. These entries, which are reproduced as chapter headings, serve as stepping stones through the true story of this wrenching year.
"I'm finding that readers relate strongly to these entries—the actual handwriting of tweens who suffered persecution and upheaval, but who also laughed and played," Levy said. "I also find that young readers recognize in the poesiealbum a precursor of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media."
Levy has created a blog, the Poesiealbum Project, where readers send their own "poesies" and artwork reflecting on the book.
In a Discussion Guide published by Disney-Hyperion, Levy addressed her decision to write the book in free verse: "The poesies underscored for me how much expression can be packed into poetry—each word matters so much! I wanted to write my mother's story in that way—where each word mattered, the way each friend and relative mattered."
A former lawyer and newspaper editor, Levy is the author of more than 20 additional books, including the award-winning picture book We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song.
To learn more, visit the Year of Goodbyes page (http://debbielevybooks.com/books/the-year-of-goodbyes-a-true-story-of-friendship-family-and-farewells/) at www.debbielevybooks.com.
The Poesiealbum Project blog is at http://theyearofgoodbyes.blogspot.com/.
Watch a video about the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVscwBW4ukU.
Tomorrow, April 16, 2015, is Holocaust Remembrance Day, part of the week-long Days of Remembrance established by the U.S. Congress as the nation's annual commemoration of the Holocaust.
Mary Ann Zissimos, Publicity Manager, Disney Publishing Worldwide
SOURCE Debbie Levy