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Challenging Stories Book Club


Challenging Stories Book Club is pleased to present:


Hana's Suitcase

By author, Karen Levine

in conversation with educator, Dara Krackovich

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The extraordinary true story of Hana Brady, a fun-loving child whose happy life was turned upside down by the invasion of the Nazis.

In March 2000, a suitcase arrived at a children's Holocaust education center in Tokyo, Japan from the Auschwitz museum in Germany. Fumiko Ishioka, the center's curator, was captivated by the writing on the outside that identified its owner: "Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Waisenkind (the German word for orphan)." Children visiting the center were full of questions. Who was Hana Brady? Where did she come from? What was she like? What happened to her? Inspired by their curiosity and her own need to know, Fumiko began a year of detective work, scouring the world for clues. Writer Karen Levine follows Fumiko in her search through history, from present-day Japan, Europe and North America back to 1938 Czechoslovakia to learn the story of Hana Brady, a fun-loving child with wonderful parents, a protective big brother, and a passion for ice skating, their happy life turned upside down by the invasion of the Nazis.

Twenty years later, Hana's Suitcase has become an international phenomenon, with rights sold in 40 countries around the world and in multiple languages. The book has been adapted as a play by Emil Sher and made into a documentary film, Inside Hana’s Suitcase, which premiered in 2009. In 2012, the 10th Anniversary Edition of Hana's Suitcase was released, featuring 60 pages in bonus material.

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Featuring: Karen Levine

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Karen Levine is a prizewinning producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Karen has won awards for her CBC radio work, including two Peabody Awards - the Oscars of radio. She originally produced Hana’s Suitcase as a radio documentary before writing the book. Though she travels widely to talk about Hana's Suitcase, she makes her home in Toronto with her partner and her son.



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