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Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs



"The story begins with Yaffa Eliach, a spirited young girl who grows up in a vibrant, happy 800-year-old town in Poland, filled with family life and rich traditions. Yaffa's grandmother, who receives a gift of a camera from America, becomes the village photographer, and takes photos of all the family events: weddings, bar mitzvahs, and family gatherings. And on the Jewish New Year, the villagers send photos to their relatives overseas to wish them a 'Gut Yontif'! But one dark day, the town is invaded. And quickly the once happy home to 5,000 Jewish people is uprooted. Yaffa survives the war and becomes a Professor of History and America's foremost Holocaust expert. And when President Jimmy Carter invites her to create an exhibit for the new National Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, she travels around the world hunting down her grandmother's photos taken of people who fled from her beloved town, Eishyshok, along with their stories and memories. This breathtaking revival of the town's collective spirit, which is a permanent exhibit at The National Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, will inspire all who read it"--

Publisher Marketing:
A moving biography of the woman who created The Tower of Faces, a powerful exhibit at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Sydney Taylor Book Award (Gold Medal)

A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book

★ "...There are many picture books about the Holocaust, but this one stands out with Gal's beautiful watercolor pictures and the true account of one woman's goal that her community never be forgotten. A beautiful tribute....Highly recommended." -- School Library Journal, starred review

★ "A stunning tale . . . . bursting with detail and life. . . . A magnificent and moving tribute to a loving community and an extraordinary woman." -- Booklist, starred review

★ "A powerful tribute....Moving." -- Publisher's Weekly, starred review

★ "An affirming tribute to a Jewish past that was lost in the Holocaust as well as to one survivor's work." -- The Horn Book, starred review

" ...A loving testament to light and hope and the vision of a remarkable woman." -- Kirkus Reviews

"...the book's mes-sage is con-sis-tent-ly opti-mistic... Stiefel paints a truth-ful por-trait appro-pri-ate for those just begin-ning to learn about the Holocaust....Gal's dramatic and accessible...a book that ensures [Eliach and her town] will not be forgotten." -- Jewish Book Council

There once was a girl named Yaffa. She loved her family, her home, and her beautiful Polish town that brimmed with light and laughter. She also loved helping her Grandma Alte in her photography studio. There, shopkeepers, brides, babies, and bar mitzvah boys posed while Grandma Alte captured their most joyous moments on film. And before the Jewish New Year, they sent their precious photographs to relatives overseas with wishes for good health and happiness.

But one dark day, Nazi soldiers invaded the town. Nearly 3,500 Jewish souls -- including family, friends, and neighbors of Yaffa -- were erased.

This is the stunning true story of how Yaffa made it her life's mission to recover thousands of her town's photographs from around the world. Using these photos, she built her amazing TOWER OF FACES, a permanent exhibit in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, to restore the soaring spirit of Eishyshok.

Product Details


ISBN–13: 9781338225891

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: Oct-2022

Pages: 40

Lexile Level: 0000

Ages: 06 - 08