Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Audio : Storytelling


Spring 2016 Storytelling
Ages: 10 & Up
CD Price: $12.00

Big moments in history make the textbooks; smaller moments, while life-changing in their time, can drift into obscurity, unless revived by writers, historians, and storytellers. Here, two World War II-era stories of compassion that occurred under very different circumstances are given new life by award-winning storyteller Carol Birch.

In "Passing Through the Heartland: The Story of the North Platte Canteen," trains carrying troops from all over the U.S. on their way to war zones overseas, would stop in the small Nebraska town of North Platte, where, in a spontaneous grassroots volunteer effort, the townspeople welcomed them as surrogate sons, offering warm thanks for their service to come, feeding them and as the effort grew, giving them a place to relax, listen to music and dance. (An estimated six million GIs received this warm welcome.)

"Anger is contagious," but so is kindness, Birch says, introducing the second story, "Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen." It is the compelling true-life account of Holocaust survivor and nurse Luba Tryszynska-Frederick, who, incredibly, while imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp, saw to the survival of dozens of Dutch-Jewish children there, many of whom would be on hand to when she was honored in Amsterdam in 1995. The album ends with a short but telling folk tale, "Heaven on Earth," illustrating what compassion and empathy can accomplish.

Lynne Heffley   ©2016 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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Silver Birch Production

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