monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

brass charm

A young girl’s grandmother gives her a brass charm, and passes along a story of hope and kindness during an unimaginable time.

Tali is staying at her Oma’s apartment after a storm demolishes their house. She is upset at losing everything. “People have survived worse,” says her mother ― Oma survived World War II, and never speaks of it. But that night, Oma shares her story of Holocaust survival, the brass monkey charm that she was given in the camp, and a message of kindness and perseverance in the face of disaster.



"I can't think of a gentler way to introduce children to the Holocaust and Nazi concentration camps than a reading and discussion of The Brass Charm, though its story is far greater than those historic concepts." -- CanLit for LittleCanadians

"The Brass Charm certainly qualifies for serious consideration for a Sydney Taylor Book Award. The historical aspect of the story deals with the Holocaust in realistic but kid-appropriate ways and conveys a message of empathy. The contemporary aspect takes a child’s sadness seriously while also helping the child understand that things can be even worse. This lesson shows the reader how to overcome challenges and to help others do so as well." -- The Sydney Taylor Shmooze