My daughter has really been enjoying books that are written in poetry form. Just recently, she let me read one of her favorites, It Rained Warm Bread by Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet.
About It Rained Warm Bread
The book opens in Poland where Moishe Moskowitz is born and raised. His father senses danger, so he hides the family in a Gentile friend’s barn for two months before the Nazis come. However, another friend comes to say that the Nazis have invaded Poland, but they’re not causing any problems. Upon hearing the news,
My father blushes
at his extreme measures.
Two months hiding in a barn.
My mother touches his arm.
We say good-bye to Janek.
Thank the barn occupants
for sharing their home.
They roll their eyes,
chew clumps of hay.
Good riddance, they say as they
spread out into the space we’ve left behind.
We are delirious.
We are going home.
We were not thinking clearly.
We went home too soon.
The Nazis force Moishe and his family into a ghetto, and then by 1942, they make their way to a concentration camp. Considering how early they entered the camp, it’s amazing Moishe survived.
Yet, he does more than survive. He even manages to escape a few times! This is a powerful story, but the most powerful part of the whole story comes from an incident that inspired the title, It Rained Warm Bread.
My Thoughts on the Book
I’ve read many Holocaust books, but because this book was written in poetry form, it had a quiet power. It was poignant and sorrowful. I really enjoyed reading this book and thought the poetic form was perfect.
I feel like I learned about 80% of Moishe’s story this way. However, there were a few parts where I really wanted to know more. In those few cases, I feel that the poetry was a disservice to Moishe’s story because it was too sparse to help me understand what was happening. To help with this, at the end of the book, Moishe’s daughter includes a six-page narrative that helps fill in some of the blanks. However, this type of narrative could not answer all of my questions.
Despite this minor flaw, I really loved this book and would recommend It Rained Warm Bread by Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet to kids and adults, ages 12 and up.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.
Would you like to read more books about children’s experiences in the Holocaust? Consider
The Moon Was My Witness by Abraham Levy
A Lucky Child by Thomas Buergenthal