Cover image for A hero and the Holocaust : the story of Janusz Korczak and his children
A hero and the Holocaust : the story of Janusz Korczak and his children
Adler, David A.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A brief biography of the Polish doctor, author, founder of orphanages, and promoter of children's rights, who lost his life trying to protect his orphans from the Nazis.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.3 0.5 61247.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB775.K6272 A43 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Biography

On Order



Janusz Korczak was an author, radio personality, teacher, and doctor. But above all else he was a hero. As the beloved director of a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw, Poland, during the years of the Nazi Party's rise to power, he cared for hundreds of children. They loved him as a father and affectionately called him their "Old Doctor." Korczak could not save his children, but even in the darkest days of the Warsaw ghetto, he strove to protect them. Fianlly, forced to lead his orphans from the ghetto to the Treblinka death camp, Korczak remained with them to the end. This moving account of Janusz Korczak's life provides a powerful introduction to the tragedies of the Holocaust, but also highlights a remarkable story of courage in its midst.

Author Notes

David A. Adler was born in New York City. He attended Queen's College in New York City and later, earned an MBA in Marketing from New York University.

He writes both fiction and non-fiction. He is the author of Cam Jansen mysteries and the Andy Russell titles. His titles has earned him numerous awards including a Sydney Taylor Book Award for his title "The Number on My Grandfather's Arm," "A Picture Book of Jewish Holidays" was named a Notable Book of 1981 by the American Library Association and "Our Golda" was named a Carter G. Woodson Award Honor Book.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5. In a quiet, brief account of the Polish Jewish orphanage-director Janusz Korczak, who cared for hundreds of children in the Warsaw ghetto and then went with them to his death in Treblinka, this picture-book biography introduces the hero's personal story, putting it within the context of the fate of children in the Holocaust. Moving quotes from Korczak's diary are part of the text, and throughout Adler is careful to distinguish fact from surmise. The narrative, however, is just an outline, so the book's grade-school audience will need to talk with adults about the history of Nazism, the ghettos, transports, camps, and gas chambers. Adler does provide a brief afterward and a useful bibliography. The illustrations, oil paintings on linen in sepia tones, are unforgettable. They evoke the famous documentary photos of the time--starving children huddled on the sidewalk; a boy forced to march with both arms raised--as well as the brave elderly caregiver who stayed with the children through it all. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Adler tells the story of the Jewish author, doctor, and orphanage director. Throughout the book, Adler gives hints of the trouble brewing in Poland in the 1930s, without really making clear who the Nazis were or why they were seizing property and burning books. However, the main focus of the narrative is Korczak's relationship with the children he cared for. He is depicted as a kindly "Old Doctor" who allowed the children to draw on his bald head. He is unable, however, to protect them or himself from the invasion of Warsaw. The deportation of Korczak and the children, first to the Ghetto, and later to Treblinka, is described but not explained. Why have the children been sent here? Why is no one able to help them? Youngsters who have not studied the Holocaust may be confused and startled by the stark sentences about the camp: "But for Jews, there were no trains out of Treblinka. Janusz Korczak died there with his children." Farnsworth's paintings, beautifully realistic oils on linen, depict a dark world dominated by shades of gray and brown. Splashes of green and red-a bottle here, a scarf there-bring a sense of hope into the art that is not found in the text. The subject matter seems better suited to a longer book for older students than a means of introducing a horrific time in history to young children. This book would be useful as a supplement to other Holocaust materials, but on its own it is an additional purchase.-Martha Link, Louisville Free Public Library, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.