From Eli Wiesel

More book reviews – KirkusReviews.com

PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR Shirley Wachtel does a remarkable job in telling the story of her mother, a survivor of the Holocaust, in the book “The Story of Blima.” The book is an excellent source for upper elementary and middle school students to introduce them to and learn about the Holocaust. The story is written in such a positive and unique manner, that the reader both adult and student, become quickly associated with her mother “Blima”. Involvement by students and educators in the book will assist in meeting the Holocaust/genocide mandate in New Jersey.
Dr. Paul B.Winkler, Executive Director, New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “Wow! Shirley Russak Wachtel is a masterful storyteller. Blima is alive, riveting, touching, powerful, deeply haunting, and utterly masterfully told. I am grateful to have read it..”
Yvonne Collioud Sisko, author of American 24-Karat Gold: 24 Classic American Short Stories
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “By far one of the greatest survival books I have ever read. It kept me wanting to read on more and more…It’s the first time I’ve finished a book in one go! Very inspiring throughout.”
Mohsin Khan, student, Middlesex County College, NJ
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “I was wondering where I could get the book My Mother’s Shoes. The Story of Blima grabbed my attention and I read it in one day. By the way, I hate reading, but this book was so good, I want to know more about her life.”
Laura Jimenez, student, Coastal Community College
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “My name is Corinne Stanley and I am teaching a summer program at Kutztown University. I just completed your book The Story of Blima” with two of my ninth grade classes. We absolutely loved the book, and are very interested in learning more about your family’s story. Our hearts truly go out to your family and all other survivors of the Holocaust. Thank you for sharing your story with us.”
Corinne Stanley, Teacher, Kutztown University
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “I am currently teaching my 9th and 10th grade English Learner students about the injustices of the Holocaust. We have read your book, The Story of Blima: A Holocaust Survior. It is such a wonderfully written story that the students really enjoyed reading. The narratives were so interesting – they couldn’t put the book down! Thank you for writing your mother’s story. What a wonderful tribute it is. Warmest regards.”
Laura Seguin, Teacher, Washington Union High School
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “I would like to thank you for coming to Delaware County Community College today, and speaking about your mother’s experiences in the Holocaust and in particular, your novel. Over 150 students/faculty attended the presentation and, as I am sure you are aware, the response was wonderful. As many of the students had already read the novel, they came with a curiosity that resulted in the many questions they asked you. Others told me that they had heard very little about the Holocaust previously, and were surprised that this seemed to be something that “everyone else knew about.” Most of the books you sent us were quickly taken by these students with comments like “this seems like something I can identify with” and “I like reading about people’s own stories, and not just facts.” Once again, thank you for the informative presentation and the lively discussion that followed. ”
Michelle Cirrincione, Professor, Delaware County Community College
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “My name is Michelle Cirrincione and I teach 6th grade at Clementon Elementary School in Clementon, NJ. My students and I have just finished reading Blima and we were very moved by your mother’s story. We would love for you to come and speak at our school, but if that is not possible I would still like to send you their letters and would appreciate it if you could write my class a letter in return. Thank you for your novel and the writing that it has inspired in my classroom.”
Dianne Belitsky Shames , Teacher, Clementon Elementary School, NJ
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “My name is Jill Coble and I am a Holocaust Fellow with the TN Holocaust Commission and a middle school teacher for ESL students. I teach the Holocaust to all my students and have a personal ‘lending library’ for them to use during the school year (even after we complete the unit of study) which enables them to learn more on their own through reading and/or viewing the movies included in the library. I just read your book, “The Story of Blima,” and couldn’t put it down until I completed it. I will now include it for students to check out and read. I am writing to thank you for such a well-written and easy to follow survivor story that learners of English can read. ”
Jill Coble, Holocaust Fellow, TN Holocaust Commission
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “I am a graduate student at Kean University working towards a master’s degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. My current course, Holocaust in Literature and Film, requires a critique of a piece of Holocaust literature. I purchased the book, The Story of Blima, months ago and found it the perfect opportunity to read it. I was completely in awe of the story and writing style, and I am glad that I chose it for my assignment. Thank you for sharing your mother’s incredible story.”
Marguerite Romano-Lucciola, Graduate Student, Kean University
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “I teach seventh and eighth grade English at Sutton Middle School in Atlanta , Georgia . A few years ago I received a class set of The Story of Blima, and I have used it during my Holocaust Unit ever since. I have no idea why I received the books or who sent them, but I just wanted to take the time to pass along a “thank you” to you for your middle school friendly account of your mother’s story. The students are always engaged while reading the book and the division into three parts allows them to more easily process the historical events. Thank you, and best wishes,”
Amanda Fielder, Teacher, Sutton Middle School, GA
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF BLIMA—A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR “My classes at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North Carolina just recently completed your novel, The Story of Blima. I teach a basic writing class and our department requires all students to read a novel per semester in addition to the curriculum requirements. Fortunately, we were required to read your book. We, all of us, love and respect your mother. You have opened all of our eyes to so many aspects and layers of a person’s life who belonged to the Jewish community during the horrific years of Hitler’s reign. I spent hours making a study guide, chapter by chapter, and as a result feel like I have a significant understanding of what your mother and her family and friends were forced to experience. I had my students create Power Point presentations about topics related to the Holocaust. They vary from the medical experiments to Hitler to Anne Frank. It surprised me that all of my students, ranging in age from 18 – 42 were unaware of the Holocaust and what those years meant. Hopefully, we have made another generation aware of those countless wonderful people who were caught up in something not of their making. I could say much here, but mainly wanted to let you know that my students are writing you individual letters. I told them to just talk to you about your mother and her story. Thank you for sharing your mother’s story told with such love and grace. We now know Blima a little bit- and have one more name to remember when we see those photos of the Nameless in death camp footage.”
Glynn Moore, Instructor, Catawba Valley Community College , NC

Published Works