monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

2 minutes reading time (394 words)

The Up-Side of Living in a High Tech World

There are plenty of things I don't like about being in a high-tech world: the way a certain man I love never goes anywhere without his Blackberry; the way a certain girl I love sometimes text messagesduring lunch... but there are wonderful things, too, that come with the world of high-technology.

Here's my latest example. This week, I received an e-mail from a reader in southwestern Ontario. She's a grown-up named Dee (three cheers for adults who read YA literature!!), who recently visited Terezin, the site of the concentration camp in the Czech Republic where my book What World Is Left is set. Dee gave me permission to share some of that e-mail message with you in today's blog entry:

"We visited Terezin 2 weeks ago - but I could not help feeling what we were being shown was propaganda, too, just as what had been shown to the Danish Red Cross. The 'model' barracks room just did not seem that bad, and the museum of art work was no different than other museums I have visited. Surely, if some girls could do a banner for their 'home room' and others could do a newsletter, perhaps it was not nearly as horrible as other concentration camps. But I knew I had to learn more, and found What World is Left at the library. Finally I feel our visit to Terezin is complete. Tourists are shown the 'sterilized' version of the ghetto. In my mind, no more truthful than the Embellishment. It took your book to let me feel the lice, smell the stench, and agonize from hunger, cold, and the sight of friends being transported."

The first thing I did when I read this e-mail was phone my mum and read it to her. My mum was a prisoner in Terezin, and she kept the story of her experience there a secret for more than 60 years. Finally opening up about what had happened was very difficult for her -- but I think it's a decision she's glad about, and Dee's message made my mum glad, too.

Dee, if you're reading this blog entry, I'm sure my blog readers will agree that you're a wonderful writer. I hope you get to work ASAP on your OWN story. Thanks so so much for contacting me. I look forward to meeting you in person when you come to town!

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Monday, 15 April 2024

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