SpineOut : October - November 2017
rHana's Suitcase SPOETRY pine Out OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017 About the book, Hana’s Suitcase: When Hana’s suitcase arrives from Germany at the small Holocaust education centre in Japan, all the children who visit want to know about Hana. When Fumiko Ishioka, the centre’s curator, decides to find the answers, she embarks on a journey of discovery across Europe and North America, and seventy years of history. ‘Really, it’s a very ordinary looking suitcase. You could fit quite a lot in it. Year 9 at the Hunter Valley Grammar School were focusing on children’s experiences of WWII in Europe, and texts that explore children’s perspectives of the Holocaust. r The student’s said: We were given an extract of the book, Hana’s Suitcase, and asked to select the most powerful, meaningful words and phrases. We were then asked to work in pairs to use these to create a poem in any form we chose that reflected Hana’s experiences. One group chose to write a series of Haikus to reflect the Japanese influence on Hana’s story. Another group’s poem uses the change of seasons from summer to winter to reflect the progression of hatred in the war. Others have used the colour red to focus in on the harsh restrictions Hana struggled to understand. All are an insightful portrait of our understanding of Hana’s experiences. Books, games, treasures, toys. But nothing is inside it now. Across the front, there is a girl’s name, Hana Brady. A date of birth: May 16 1931. And Waisenkind. That’s the German word for orphan.’ Where did Hana Brady come from? Where was she going? What did she pack? What Fumiko finds in Hana’s suitcase is a true story of terrible sadness and great joy.
August - September
February - March 2018