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Between Parent & Child: Questions to Talk About:

THE GREY STRIPED SHIRT

1. What would you do if you found something unusual in a closet? Would you run upstairs and ask an adult about it right away? Or would you wait a while, as Frannie did?

2. The Pilgrims left Europe and came to America for religious freedom. America was founded on the principle of religious freedom for all people. What does the Holocaust teach you about the importance of respecting all cultures, races, and religions?

3. On page 47 Frannie tells Grandma Trudie that she doesn't want to hear any more. Why did she say that? How would you feel if you heard that someone you loved had suffered a terrible injustice?

4. Can you imagine a child who has never had the opportunity to eat an orange or an apple? Learn more about organizations that feed the hungry. There are many local, national, and international groups dedicated to this cause. Consider helping out by giving groceries, money, or your time.

5. Why did children take the risk of smuggling food into the ghetto? Were adults small enough to fit through the small cracks in the ghetto walls?

6. How did Grandpa Herman and Grandma Trudie fight the Nazis without guns?

7. Try counting to a thousand. How long did it take you? Why did Frannie try to count to one million? What did it teach her about the Holocaust?

8. Frannie asks lots of questions in The Grey Striped Shirt. Are there any questions you have?

9. What do you know about your grandparents? Ask them questions about their childhood. Find out everything you can so you will be able to tell their stories to your own children one day.

To read more about the Holocaust, try these books:

(The titles on this list are all appropriate for children 8 to 12)

  • Best Friends by Elisabeth Reuter (Pitspopany Press, 1993)
  • The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco (Philomel Books, 2000)
  • Hana's Suitcase by Karen Levine ( Albert Whitman, 2003)
  • Flowers on the Wall by Miriam Nerlove (Margaret McElderry, 1996)
  • Forging Freedom by Hudson Talbott ( Putnam, 2000)
  • The Lily Cupboard by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim (Harper Trophy, 1995)
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Dell, 1989)
  • Six Million Paperclips by Peter W. Schroeder & Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand (Kar-Ben, 2004)
  • Terrible Things by Eve Bunting ( Jewish Publication Society, 1989)

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