|aThe harmonica /|cTony Johnston ; illustrated by Ron Mazellan.
|aWatertown, MA :|bCharlesbridge,|c2008.
|a1 v. :|bcol. ill. ;|c28 cm.
|aSeparated from his parents in Poland during World War II, a young Jewish boy enslaved in a concentration camp, keeps hope alive while playing Schubert on his harmonica whenever the camp's commandant orders him to play.
This powerful story, inspired by the life of a Holocaust survivor, is a testament to the human spirit and the transcendent power of music. When the Nazis invaded Poland, a family is split apart. The parents are sent to one concentration camp, their son to another. Only his father's gift, a harmonica, keeps the boy's hopes alive and, miraculously, ensures his survival. When an officer discovers his talent, he makes the boy play each night. Through music the boy invokes his parents and brings comfort to the other prisoners, lifting their spirits if only for a moment at time. Ron Mazellan's luminous artwork depicts the bleakness of the time, while letting the beauty that hope can bring through the darkness shine.