The Brushmaker’s Daughter

The Brushmaker’s Daughter
(A Holocaust Remembrance Book for Young Readers)
written by Kathy Kacer
Second Story Press, 2020
978-1-77260-138-1 (pb) $10.95
978-177260-139-8 (eBook) $7.99
for Grades 4 to 8
Historical Fiction | The Holocaust | World War II | Germany | Otto Weidt | Heros

Inspired by a true story, The Brushmaker’s Daughter tells the tale of 12-year-old Lillian and her father as they run from Nazi soldiers. If they are captured, they will be sent to a concentration camp, but few are willing to help a blind man and his young daughter. When they meet Otto Weidt, the owner of a brush factory that hires blind Jewish workers, they are hopeful that he will keep them safe. Mr. Weidt finds Lillian and her father a place to stay with Hetti Porschütz, a widow, who is also willing to help Jewish families hide from the Nazis.

Once again, Kathy Kacer has written a riveting tale about the Holocaust for middle-grade readers. At the end of the story, a section entitled “What Really Happened” explains how the real-life Otto Weidt protected dozens of blind Jewish women and men from being deported to the camps by hiring them to work in his factory. Those who were disabled were not considered of any value to the Nazi party. Having visited the museum dedicated to Weidt, Kacer decided to create a story that featured a father and daughter. Adept at keeping readers engaged with her excellent storytelling skills, Kacer weaves a tale that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Will Lillian, her father and the other factory workers be discovered, or will Otto keep them safe?

A fascinating and educational piece of historical fiction, The Brushmaker’s Daughter is a story that should be found in home, school and public libraries. A highly recommended read!

Sandra O’Brien is the former Editor of Canadian Children’s Book News who is enjoying spending more time with her dogs, Alfie and Audi, gardening and quilting.

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