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Nonfiction Monday: The Champion of Children, by Tomek Bogacki

The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak, by Tomek Bogacki. Published 2009 by FSG Kids' Books. Hardcover.

The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak is alternately moving, sad and hopeful. Janusz Korczak, doctor, writer, activist and advocate for children, was born Henryk Goldzmit in 1878 in Poland. Although his own family was well-off, even as a child he felt a great deal of compassion and concern for those, especially children, without his comforts. He fantasized about sweeping in on a white horse to rescue poor children, and when he grew up he became a doctor and founded an orphanage for poor children where they would receive basic care. Importantly, they would also learn to take care of each other- and to care for each other. Over time he started another orphanage and even a newspaper run by the children.

When Polish Jews were forced into the Krochmalna Street ghetto, Korczak tried to maintain a sense of routine and safety for the children by organizing life the best he could and looking for anything and anyone to help them. Ultimately Korczak and his children perished in the Holocaust, but he left behind a legacy of hope and purpose in helping other and following one's dreams.

The book itself is beautifully illustrated and sweetly and simply told and shows how one person can make a difference in the lives of so many, simply by doing what is right. It's a wonderful book to share with children and adults.

Nonfiction Monday is a moving meme headquartered at Picture Book of the Day and hosted this week at Bookish Blather.

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