The History of "The Number on Her Arm"

Hello and welcome to the blog portion of The Number on Her Arm! I am very excited to be blogging while going through the process of publishing and promoting this book. I have long wanted to have a blog and find that I now have the perfect venue in which to steadily write, a long-held dream of mine. I want to use this space to write about a number of elements pertaining to the book, not limited to the content of the book itself. I want to blog about Holocaust education, thoughts and reflections I may have after book readings and events, and I'd also like to blog about the process of self-publishing a book. I'd additionally love for this blog to be a forum in which I can chat with others who have similar connections, thoughts, and experiences relating to these topics.

I thought I'd start out this first blog post by giving you a history of how The Number on Her Arm came to be and why I chose to write a Holocaust book for children. I initially wrote The Number on Her Arm in 2013 during my final semester in a graduate program for teaching. As the final project for a Children's Literature course I was taking, all graduate students had to write a children's book. The Number on Her Arm was written as a tribute to my grandparents, both Holocaust survivors who endured innumerable atrocities as prisoners at concentration camps. While their survival during that unspeakable time period is amazing in and of itself, what I always found even more amazing about them was their continuous ability to be positive, selfless, and humble. They never had any issues talking about their experiences and they lived their life for others, never once pitying themselves or the nightmares from their past. I wrote this book not only to pay homage to their incredible spirits and altruistic natures, but to also show children what it is like to grow up with family members who are Holocaust survivors. My grandmother received a tattoo on her arm as soon as she arrived in Auschwitz. To relate this horror in a less painful way to children, my book depicts a memoir like account of me speaking with my grandmother as a young girl, wondering what that strange tattooed number represents. Through that wonder, the grandmother begins to tell the young girl about being a Holocaust survivor because she feels it is crucial for her granddaughter to understand the truth about her history. 

After I got my Masters I did not end up doing anything with the book. I was in such a rush to get a teaching job after graduation  that the book sort of fell by the wayside. However, this past January my grandmother unfortunately passed away (my grandfather had died several years before). At the time of her passing, I began to realize that it was imperative that I preserve the memory, love, and incredible history of my grandparents seeing as the world had just lost two more Holocaust survivors. I could not let their legacies fade away even though they were no longer around. More importantly, I felt that I needed to use their stories to reach out to as many young people as possible to introduce and teach them about the Holocaust in a delicate manner. I believe that The Number on Her Arm can serve as as that gentle introduction. Thus, after my grandmother's funeral, I dusted off my manuscript and have been working non-stop to get this book formatted and published so the real work can soon begin. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey to honor my grandparents...more to come soon!