Somewhere There Is Still a Sun
A Memoir of the Holocaust
Resilience shines throughout Michael Gruenbaum’s “riveting memoir” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) about his time in the Terezin concentration camp during the Holocaust, in this National Jewish Book award finalist and Parents Choice Gold Medal Award–winning title, an ideal companion to the bestselling Boy on the Wooden Box.
Michael “Misha” Gruenbaum enjoyed a carefree childhood playing games and taking walks through Prague with his beloved father. All of that changed forever when the Nazis invaded Prague. The Gruenbaum family was forced to move into the Jewish Ghetto in Prague. Then, after a devastating loss, Michael, his mother and sister were deported to the Terezin concentration camp.
At Terezin, Misha roomed with forty other boys who became like brothers to him. Life in Terezin was a bizarre, surreal balance—some days were filled with friendship and soccer matches, while others brought mortal terror as the boys waited to hear the names on each new list of who was being sent “to the East.”
Those trains were going to Auschwitz. When the day came that his family’s name appeared on a transport list, their survival called for a miracle—one that tied Michael’s fate to a carefully sewn teddy bear, and to his mother’s unshakeable determination to keep her children safe.
Collaborating with acclaimed author Todd Hasak-Lowy, Michael Gruenbaum shares his inspiring story of hope in an unforgettable memoir that recreates his experiences with stunning immediacy. Michael’s story, and the many original documents and photos included alongside it, offer an essential contribution to Holocaust literature.
“This account will help young readers imagine themselves in the midst of the unimaginable—and will show them how kids very much like them managed to survive." – New York Times Book Review
"The Holocaust’s horrors are handled delicately for middlegrade readers but never detract from the truth. Photographs and letters add to the memoir’s efficacy and poignancy." – Booklist
"The ingenuity, love, and defiant courage displayed by Misha, his parents, Franta, and others counteract incessant degradation and terror, creating an inspiring testament to human resilience." – Publisher's Weekly Starred Review
"Kitty and I have read many stories about the experiences of survivors, but this one absolutely captured us—and especially the extraordinary tenacity of Mike Gruenbaum's mother who was determined to save her kids—and did so—with the help of teddy bears. What a great story to remind us that humanity can defeat cruelty, then and now, but it takes the world community to do so." – Michael Dukakis, Former Governor of Massachusetts
"With this book, Michael Gruenbaum has offered the current generation of young readers a very special book that will trigger both emotion and reflection; it is an extremely valuable tool for all of us who are trying to teach teenagers about the Holocaust." – Margot Stern Strom, Facing History and Ourselves
"The use of present-tense narration contributes to the urgency of the narration, and Misha’s sense of fairness and his unfailing faith that things will improve will resonate with students." – School Library Journal