Violin of Hope

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Pub Date Nov 05 2024 | Archive Date Jun 30 2024
Lerner Publishing Group | Kar-Ben Publishing ®

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Based on the true story of luthiers who repair Holocaust-era violins.

Papa plays beautiful music on the violin, sometimes quick and lively and sometimes slow and sorrowful. But one night, there is a pounding on the door and a Nazi soldier snatches the violin away. The violin is silent for years until a luthier finds it and says, "I can fix you." Then a man comes to the shop and buys the violin for his son. In the boy's hands, the violin feels familiar, like a melody remembered from long ago.

Based on the true story of luthiers who repair Holocaust-era violins.

Papa plays beautiful music on the violin, sometimes quick and lively and sometimes slow and sorrowful. But one night, there is a...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9798765604199
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 45 members

Featured Reviews

"Violin of Hope" is a unique story that touches on the Holocaust but concentrates on hope rather than horror.

The tale is told from the view point of a violin that is cherished by a Jewish family until Nazi soldiers confiscate it. It doesn't end up in use by the Nazi's but lays forgotten in dark, damp storage. When it is eventually discovered and lovingly restored, it is purchased by a man buying the violin for his son, once again becoming cherished and eventually creating music that gives hope to many. This touching story voices the violin's point of view referring to the feel of different peoples hands. The story seems to go full circle. The story gives hints that the violin has possibly returned to the same family. A comment by the father buying the violin, the repetition of a name, and the violin's feeling that the boy's hands feel familiar all lead to the observant reader to that conclusion.
Illustrator Juliana Oakley has helped tell this story with her artwork. Although the wartime illustrations are muted and dark, most of the pictures are bright and relate the hopefulness in the story. I especially enjoyed the expressive faces in her illustrations.

The title refers to a program discussed in the back matter. Two luthiers, artisans that create or repair stringed instruments, have dedicated their lives to finding and restoring violins that were owned by Jews before the war. These violins are then donated to an orchestra that tours around the world.

I received a digital review copy from Kar-Ben Publishing. However the opinions expressed are entirely my own. By telling the story of the violin instead of people, it can touch the topic of the holocaust in an age appropriate manner for youngsters who are just starting to learn about that time period. I whole heartedly recommend this book for youngsters interested in music or history and for classrooms and libraries as well.

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Not me crying from a children's picture book!! What a beautiful and heartwrenching story following one violins from the hands of a Jewish family during the Holocaust to the hands of a luthier (instrument doctor). And I love that this was inspired by a REAL organization that saves violins that were stolen. Beauty from ashes :) And the illustrations were warm and perfectly fitting for this book.

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This is a BEAUTIFUL story of family, hope, and love. It is about the life of a violin in a happy home that was captured during the Holocaust and locked away. Based on true events with historical and cultural facts; it gave me chills.
Lovely illustrations, as well.

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I just love stories based on true history and true stories of hope. I literally got goosebumps reading this picture book, and don’t think my review would be up to its level. Just amazing.

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VIOLIN OF HOPE is a very touching children’s story about a violin owned by a young Jewish family prior to the Holocaust, that was stolen, stored, and many decades later, repaired. The story gives a very brief look at that point in history, with some information about Jewish culture, and the importance of violins and their music. It’s a touching book, with wonderful art.

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A beautifully illustrated book that focuses on survival and perseverance without going into the horrors of the Nazis and the holocaust. The way the book is done makes what happened pretty clear to those with the background knowledge but can also open up an excellent discussion about survival and hope with younger children.

Thank you to Net Galley and Lerner books for the eARC!

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Wow - what an incredible story. I love that this is loosely based on a true story, and loved the excerpt in the back about Violins of Hope.
The story is beautiful and rich with culture and history. The drawings capture every emotion.
This is a story I will definitely buy! Thank you!

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Inspired by true historical events during WWII and a project called 'Violins of Hope', this is the story of a violin stolen from a Jewish family by the Nazis and how it finds itself in the hands of a young boy who learns to play on the mended instrument and brings the sound of hope to those who hear his music.

A beautifully illustrated, captivating, poignant but hopeful story that would make a wonderful addition to your child's book collection.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this book for free in exchange for my review! All opinions are my own.

This was a beautiful story with charming illustrations. This is certainly one that is entertaining, but will also pull at your heartstrings. This is a must buy for every librarian and also parents of young children. It is a fabulous book.

Many Thanks again to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review.


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"The Violin of Hope" was absolutely beautiful. The story and art were captivating, and I particularly enjoyed how the culture of the people in the story was portrayed. While the story had its sad moments, the hopeful ending brought a smile to my face.

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book!

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Oh wow! I didn’t expect for this to take such a sad turn with the nazis coming but I am also glad that some history is out in to this book. There are still a lot of those who think the holocaust never happened. I love the representation and how it shows that through horrible things, beauty can still come out if we keep our heads up. What a lovely story!

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Violin of Hope, written by Ella Schwartz, and illustrated by Juliana Oakley is a sweet book that I enjoyed very much! This book tells the story of a violin, how it brought hope to a family during hard times, how it was taken away, and how it was filled with hope again. I love that this book tells of a difficult time in words that children can understand, and I appreciate that it is based on real lived experiences. I also like that there weee some pictures of the real people the book talked about, so students can continue to learn! Thank you to NetGalley and to the author, publisher, and illustrator of this book for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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A beloved violin is snatched from a Jewish father by Nazi soldiers. The soldiers throw it in a heap of other looted works of art where the once vibrant violin languishes for years. Many years later, a man buys the violin for his son, but it is in bad shape. A luthier recognizes the significance of the instrument and lovingly restores it to its former glory. The son learns to play the violin and together they tour the world bringing joy to thousands who hear their magical music.

“Violin of Hope'' IS a story of hope and triumph. While the illustrations are sometimes somber, overall they have a light forward-looking feel.

This would be a great story for kids who like music, love historical fiction, or are looking for a ray of light in a time of darkness.
I received an advance review copy for free from NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group Kar-Ben Publishing, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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Five stars for this read!
This was an interesting historical fiction children's book. Beautifully illustrated and well written!

I wasn't sure how Holocaust history could be written into a children's book without being graphic or violent, but I was not disappointed.

-The music-loving Jewish family clearly care for one another. They are classic and conservative.

-The book is written in a way that shows the Nazi's greed and wrong without going into mature detail for young ages.

-In the end "Violin Of Hope" shows how much joy, comfort and encouragement music brings through the good and sad times.

I am definitely a a supporter of Israel and it was refreshing to see a clean kids book that also is supportive of Jews, I've never read a book like it. Very unique!

Many thanks to Kar-Ben Publishing for the complimentary e-book I received to review through Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, and the thoughts above are my own.

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An excellent picture book that insights some deeper discussion amongst parents and their child. Throughout lovely illustrations ( I especially adore all the family moments in the book) violin of hope shares the story of how a violin taken away from the family it belonged to by the Germans managed to find a home again after the war ended, a home in the hands of the son of its original owner who after years he too wishes to bond with his own son through music the very way his father had with him.

The story is poignant and lovely and the in no way too graphic for a child of young age to handle. The messaging that despite all attempts of the war to prove the opposite, art in whatever form ( in this particular case through music) will never die or be restricted in the hands of those on the most privileged side of the war. Cannot recommend this enough this is an absolute must read

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Wow - what a wonderful story of hope and history. In the world we live in - especially now - it's important that children know the history of the Jewish people. This just touches on it, but does a great job with a difficult subject. I love how there is the true story of the instruments that were salvaged from the holocaust at the end of the story. I loved the illustrations as well! Bravo!

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Ella Schwartz's book, Violin of Hope, intertwines history, music, and the strength and resilience of people as it transitions from the past to the present. The. beautiful illustrations by Juliana Oakley complement the mood and setting of this story. Set against the backdrop of World War II, the story follows the journey of a violin, stolen by the Nazis and left for ruined, only later to be discovered, restored by a luthier, and placed in the hands of a budding violinist, who may have ties to the original owner.

This book is perfect for grades 3-6. Both as a read-aloud and independent text. For older grades, it can be read aloud to students to introduce social science units related to WWII or when discussing music history.
Five stars: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Thank you #Netgalley and Kar-Ben Publishing for this e-arc.Ella Schwartz, illus. by Juliana Oakley

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I loved this story. It's so heartbreaking to think about the family and their possessions and what happened to them. The idea that a violin could carry on such hope through it's music is beautiful.

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A violin is confiscated from a Jewish family by a Nazi soldier. The book follows the violin.

The illustrations of the family at the beginning are really sweet. I loved that it followed the violin and showed what happened when the violin was left in the pile of things while no one was attending to it.

This would be a great book to share with students in 3rd-5th grade as they start to learn about the Holocaust. It shows some of Jewish culture rather and hope, rather than only focusing on the horrors of that time.

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The violin hung, as art, on the living room wall. Nightly, the young family listened to papa's beautiful violin music, sometimes dancing if the tune was lively, sometimes sitting and reflecting when it was slow and sorrowful. The son aspired to learn and master the instrument, that is, until the Nazis knocked on doors confiscating musical instruments, furniture, candlesticks and other possessions.

"The violin waited in silence. It's body filled with dust, and its ribs opened at the seams." Refurbished by a luthier, the violin "feels familiar, like a melody remembered from long ago."

Violin of Hope is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book presenting the tale of one such violin seized by the Nazis during the Holocaust. On an elementary children's level, hope might be restored with doses of loving care. Once cracks, dents and strings were replaced and the wood was polished, the violin "carries the touch and playing style of the previous owner...walking in their footsteps [making] their voice heard."

The back cover of author Ella Schwartz's heartfelt book discusses The Violins of Hope, a travelling orchestra formed using refurbished Holocaust instruments. Concerts are performed worldwide and educational projects are promoted. The orchestra uses instruments owned by Jews before or during WWII. Many of these violins were donated by or bought from ancestors including a violin played in the Auschwitz Men's Orchestra.

A highly recommended children's historical fiction picture book.

Thank you Lerner Publishing Group | Kar-Ben Publishing and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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