The Earth is Singing by Vanessa Curtis kicks off the new year as our January Kids Book of the Month. Closely based on the true story of the Jews of Riga, The Earth is Singing is a tale of love and loss, betrayal and survival.
My name is Hanna Michelson. I am fifteen. I am Latvian. I live with my mother and grandmother. My father is missing – taken by the Russians. I’m training to be a dancer. But none of that matters now. Because the Nazis have arrived, and I am a Jew. And as far as they are concerned, that is all that matters. This is my story.
Before the war, 15 year old Hanna used to spend her days attending the ballet school in Riga and daydreaming about her boyfriend Uldis. But now her father is missing, taken away by Soviet Forces and no one knows what lies ahead. When the Nazis invade, they enforce bewildering and brutal new rules on the Jews of Riga, and Hanna must fight to keep what is left of her family together as they are commanded to move into the ghetto with 30,000 others. Faced with the prospect of losing her mother and grandmother forever, Hanna is pushed to her limits in a horrifying world where the smallest choices could mean life or death.