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Hana's Suitcase: A True Story
by Karen Levine
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1.Hana and George's parents wanted their children to know about their heritage, so once a week when they were young, Hana and George went to a special teacher who taught them about Jewish holidays and Jewish history. Do you or someone you know go to extra classes to learn about your religion or heritage? Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not?
 
2.When the Nazis first marched their armies into Czechoslovakia, Hana and George's parents always provided a warm welcome to people who had been forced out of their homes, whether they asked for money, food, or shelter. What do you think people would do today if such refugees came right to our houses, asking for help?
 
3.When the Brady family's neighbor suggested that Jews should leave before the war became worse, most people couldn't imagine leaving their homes. What do you think your family would do if someone told you to leave your home and your country to be safe?
 
4.As things became worse for Jews in their town, Hana and George saw signs that read "No Jews Allowed," like when they tried to go to a movie theater. Why do you suppose the Nazis made those rules? And how would you feel if, because of your religion or the color of your skin, you could not go into a movie theater, or a mall, or a restaurant?
 
5.How do you think Hana and George's writing down what they were angry about and burying it helped them feel better?
 
6.Hana and George's parents were quite suddenly taken away from them. How would you feel if your parents were gone with less than one day's warning? Where would you go? Who would you stay with?
 
7.When their Uncle Ludvik bravely took the children to live with his family, he told Hana and George to pack "their most treasured things." If you could only take one suitcase with you when you might be gone from home for a long time, what would you pack?
 
8.Fumiko traveled very far to try to learn more about Hana Brady. What did you think about her research? What might you have done differently in trying to find answers?
 
9.How did you feel when you read that Hana's brother was still alive today?
 
10.Why do you think the children in Japan were so fascinated by the suitcase at the Education Center?
 
11.How would it feel to be told you couldn't go to school anymore?
 
12.Why do you think the Jews were required to wear the yellow star when they went out of their homes?
 
13.What do you think about the cover of the book? Did it make you interested in the book right away?
 
14.Why do you think the Nazis kept the people in the camps in such poor conditions?
 
15.What would you recommend we do to see that no one is ever again treated as the Jewish people were treated by the Nazis?
 
16.How do you think George felt when he received Fumiko's letter?
 
17.How do you think George felt when he saw Hana's suitcase in Japan?
 
18.Would it have been better if Hana and George knew what was going to happen to them when the Nazis came? Why or why not?
 
19.Why do you think people helped each other out so much in Theresienstadt?
 
20.What do you think would have happened if the other non-Jewish townspeople had helped the Brady family?
 
21.How is tolerance taught by the children at Little Wings in Japan?
 
22.What did you know about the Holocaust before reading this book? Did reading this book help you to learn more about this time in history?
 
23.Many things happened in this book due to the kindness and generosity of strangers. Do you think that most people are generally good people? Why or why not?
 
Author Website:
http://www.hanassuitcase.ca
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