I'm not well read on the topic of the holocost having only read The Diary of Anne Frank, seen Shindler's List, and been exposed to the typical amount of information that most sub-urban US folk are. When I read Anne Frank's diary however, I was a child myself and really could only grasp so much. As an adult (I really should re-read the diary) I believe that it would touch me deeply.
When I picked up "Night" to read for my book group (I know, it's an Oprah book choice and as much as I really love Oprah, for some reason I find it hard to admit that I am reading so much from her list), I was anticipating a really difficult read. I read the introduction (which I don't usually do because I'm so anxious to dig right into the story) and was fascinated by the story of the story itself and how it got published (eventually).
From the very begining, this book reads very quickly and is so vivid and alive. Ironic that it is a story that is surrounded by death because what you feel throughout is a sense of life in spite it all. I found myself so caught up in Elie's day to day struggles and observations that I almost loose sense of the time that is passing.
I think this is a great companion piece to Anne Frank's Diary for high schoolers, especially since it is written from the point of view of a teen-aged boy. I've heard some boys resist reading Anne Frank because they think it will be about girl stuff. I would like for both of my boys to read this.
The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity is doing some great work. Check it out. Mr. Wiesel won the Nobel Piece Prize in 1986 for his studies and work and spiritual leadership in the quest for humanity all over the world. A couple of great questions that I have seen as talking points for this book are:
"What is the relationship between our stories and our identity?" and "To what extent are we all witnesses of history and messengers to humanity?"
Food for thought, and perhaps for another blog entry.