Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Butterfly

By Patricia Polacco

Summary: This story takes place in France during the time of the Nazi Occupation. One night, Monique wakes up to find what she thinks is the ghost of a girl in her room. When she tries to talk to her, she vanishes. For a couple of nights she doesn't see her but on another night, she comes out again. She begins talking to her, only to find out that she's an actual girl named Sevrine. Monique asks her where she lives and she says that she lives in her house. Sevrine shows Monique a hidden door that leads to the basement, where her family, who is Jewish, has been hiding . Monique's mom has been helping Sevrine's family, as well as others, in hiding them from the Naziis. On another night, the girls are together in Monique's room and someone spots them. Because this was seen to be unsafe, Monique's mother has to get the family out and helps them escape.

I really enjoyed this book because of the story that it told. It was a very touching story and showed the conflicts and struggles that were faced during this time period.

In the Classroom: Of course, this book could be used during a Holocaust Unit, possibly leading into a discussion/exploration about the resistance movement and what was done to help those who were being persecuted. I think it could also be used during writing where students could write about what they would have done if put in this position and why.

Domains of Social Justice:
3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice- the book explores anti-semitism and Monique's struggle to understand why this was happening.
5. Taking Social Action- although it doesn't go too much into the resistance movement, however, it gives readers a glimpse of what some people during the Holocaust did to help those who were oppressed.

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