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The Magician of Auschwitz by Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland – Review by Elizabeth Brown

Guest blogger today! Here is my review of The Magician of Auschwitz by Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland on the Nerdy Book Club blog.

Nerdy Book Club

the magician of auschwitzKathy Kacer’s The Magician of Auschwitz, published by Second Story Press (2014), tells the true story of a lonely boy named Werner Reich and a mysterious magician named Herr Levin (a.k.a. Nivelli the Magician) who become friends in the barracks of Auschwitz. War brought them together in one of darkest times of the human race. But magic gave them hope, laughter, and the will to survive.

Kacer’s evocative language helps to highlight the inner tensions, worries, and fears of the camp’s inhabitants. While telling the story of Werner and Levin, readers’ emotions are tugged. Kacer pulls the reader into their moving experience – one that shows how magic and magic tricks bring two people together and give them the courage to overcome their surroundings. The characters in the book are real people. Kacer has made sure they retain their three-dimensionality by creating strong, resilient, fearful, caring, and flawed characters…

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Great documentary on motherhood and the creative journey

LOST IN LIVING 

                Does motherhood take a toll on a woman’s artistic pursuits? Her identity as an expressive being? Her creative output? These are the questions director Mary Trunk explores in her feature length documentary, Lost In Living. The film follows four mothers/artists (Kristina Robbins-filmmaker, Caren McCaleb-artist/film editor/filmmaker, Marjorie Schlossman-visual artist, and Merrill Joan Gerber-writer) over seven years as they share their stories of motherhood and the creative journey.

                Trunk calls this struggle – the intersection of motherhood and the creative process – “lost in living.” The desire and the need to create while also being a mother forces these women to make difficult choices in how they parent, in their relationships with their spouses, in their friendships, and in their day-to-day domestic chores and lives. The task of trying to be a mom at the same time as an artistically expressive force becomes all-consuming for Kristina, Caren, Marjorie, and Merrill as they constantly question their choices, their paths, and their identities as artists, mothers, and women.

                Trunk’s own struggle with both motherhood and filmmaking inspired her to make the film. Her objective/observational role as a documentarian allows the true nature of each woman’s journey and voice to be authentic, understood, and most importantly, valued. This documentary is a must see for all artists, women, and mothers who may themselves be lost in living.

 

More at: http://www.maandpafilms.com/lostinliving