Fania's Heart

  • Illustrated By: Richard Rudnicki
  • Pages:32
  • Publisher:Second Story Press
  • Themes:Fania Fainer, The Heart of Auschwitz, Jewish children Holocaust, Holocaust true story
  • Available:03/13/2018
  • Age Groups:NF Picture Book
  • Lexile:740L
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:T
Ten-year-old Sorale discovers a tiny heart-shaped book among her mother’s belongings. Its pages are shaped like four-petaled flowers, upon which are written words in languages Sorale does not understand. Who wrote these words? Where did the heart come from? And why has her mother never mentioned this tiny book before?

Fania’s Heart
reveals the true story of the crafting of this heart-shaped birthday card, against all odds, within the confines of Auschwitz, and of the women of immeasurable resilience, courage, and loyalty who risked their lives to create this gift for Sorale’s mother, their friend.

"Fania’s Heart is a simply told nonfiction account, effectively delivered to teach children that people can have hope, even in the most dire circumstances.... The history of these terrible events is a lot to absorb, but it’s an important story that echoes today in the experiences of many of the refugee children who have arrived in Canada from war torn countries.... Fania’s Heart joins the list of valuable biographies that should be found in school and classroom libraries everywhere. Highly recommended."

– CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"The inspiring story, which takes place in one of the most demeaning of settings, shows that even the powerless can provide hope and warmth to one other."

– Jewish Book Council

"The true story of Fania Landau Fainer, a Polish Jew who was imprisoned in Auschwitz, is compelling from the start.... readers find inspiration in the ways that kindness can exist even in the bleakest places."

– Association of Jewish Libraries

"Fania's Heart is written in large print for easy reading, and every page contains poignant illustrations that capture the plight of Fania during her time in Auschwitz."

– The Canadian Jewish News
Canadian Jewish Literary Award - Children/Youth Category   | 2018  |  Winner
Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books of 2018   | 2018  |  Commended
Red Cedar Book Awards   | 2020  |  Short-listed