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The Devil’s Arithmetic Viking Penguin, Inc. Publishers 1988 By Jane Yolen.

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Presentation on theme: "The Devil’s Arithmetic Viking Penguin, Inc. Publishers 1988 By Jane Yolen."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Devil’s Arithmetic Viking Penguin, Inc. Publishers 1988 By Jane Yolen

2 Setting Initially, this story begins in present day New Rochelle, New York. A modern family, driving a modern car, travel to a family gathering. Unexpectedly, the main character is transported to 1942 Poland. She finds herself in the middle of Nazi domination and unthinkable horrors.

3 Main Characters Hannah – Present day Hannah is twelve years old living in New Rochelle, New York with her parents. She suddenly finds herself transported back to 1942 Nazi occupied Poland. Chaya – As Hannah awakens to find herself in her new strange surroundings, those around her are calling her Chaya, which means ‘Life’. She discovers that her 1942 parents were ill and passed away and she has been left with her Aunt Gitl and Uncle Shmuel. Shmuel – As the fun loving brother of Gitl, Chaya’s Uncle Shmuel loves to sing, works hard, and is engaged to marry Fayge, the daughter of Reb Boruch. Gitl – Tenacious, head-strong, and proud, Chaya’s aunt stands with her and helps her to survive many perilous situations in the camps.

4 Main Characters cont. Fayge – Others look at Fayge as though she were a movie star. As the betrothed of Shmuel, she is thought to be beautiful. Rivka – A very mature wise 10 year old girl who has discovered ways of surviving camp life. She helps the others learn her strategies. Wolfe – As Rivka’s only remaining family member, Wolfe works as a Sonderkommando. He is responsible for transporting dead bodies to the crematoriums. Commandant Bruer – As the commander of Chaya’s concentration camp, He is the one who does the “choosing.”

5 Supporting Characters Grandpa Will – As the present day grandfather of Hannah, Grandpa Will is always ranting about the war, the past, and life in the camps. Aunt Eva – This kind loving woman is Hannah’s present day Aunt and Will’s brother. Shifre, Yente, Esther, Rachel – These are all friends that Chaya meets at the wedding of Shmuel and Fayge in 1942 Poland. Yitzhak the Butcher – A local butcher in 1942 Poland who loves Gitl and wishes to marry her. He is the father of Tzipporah and Reuven. Tzipporah and Reuven – Children of Yitzhak the butcher.

6 Plot The Devil's Arithmetic is a fictional account of a thirteen year old Jewish girl’s journey back in time to Nazi occupied Poland. Present day Hannah Stern dreads Passover and the traditions her family “forces” her to remember each year. When asked to open the door for the prophet Elijah, she is transported back in time to 1942 where she becomes aware of the atrocities which lie ahead. Once in her new past, she is called Chaya, which means, life. She becomes acquainted with her Aunt Gitl and Uncle Shmuel with whom she lives. While traveling down the road to Shmuel’s wedding, trucks block their way. Chaya then realizes what year it is, and to whom those trucks belong. She struggles through life in a concentration camp and suffers all the losses she remembered her present day family talking about.

7 Themes Jewish Tradition Adolescence Nazi Occupation Concentration Camp Life Poland History – Space and Time Travel

8 Awards The National Jewish Book Award The Sydney Taylor Award Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award Nebula Honor Book 1992 Kentucky Bluegrass Master List Florida Children's Book Award nomination in '91-92 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award It was made into a movie for the Showtime TV It won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Children's Special The film also won "The Wilbur Award."

9 Author Jane Yolen – “Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother.” Jane Yolen – “ She needs little introduction to readers of children's literature. The award-winning author of more than 200 books for children, young adults, and adults, Jane moves gracefully from poetry, folktales, and songs to fantasy and science fiction. She is also a storyteller in the oral tradition, preferring to improvise on the old tales and receiving requests from other storytellers to add her work to their repertoire. Newsweek called Jane Yolen "the Hans Christian Andersen of America" and The New York Times labeled her "a modern equivalent of Aesop." Her books have been translated into fourteen languages.”

10 History of The Devil’s Arithmetic “I had thought about doing a book on the Holocaust for a long time, but quite frankly the idea overwhelmed me. Finally one of my editors, who was a rabbi's wife at the time, persuaded me to confront the task. Writers and storytellers are the memory of a civilization, and we who are alive now really must not forget what happened in that awful time or else we may be doomed to repeat it. This book is about a Jewish teenager who--much like me at that age--hated the idea of having to remember so much Jewish history and ritual. At a family seder, she opens the door to Elijah and finds herself whirled back in time to a Polish Jewish shtetl in the 1940s. There, though she alone understands what will happen to the villagers, she is taken with them to a concentration camp. This is a story of the quiet heroism in the camps and why we must bear witness to history.” Jane Yolen

11 This Book’s Importance to Society The Devil’s Arithmetic is an important read because it reminds us of a devastating time in our world’s history. As difficult as this story is to read and hear, it must be told again and again. Only in remembering will we be able to prevent this from happening again, and by doing so we will be supplied the courage to intervene when we see these atrocities occur around the world.

12 References Yolen, J. (1988). The Devil’s Arithmetic. Viking Penguin, Inc.: New York


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