I’m so excited about the fact that people are reading my memoir, Becoming Alice. Sometimes I even get a personal e-mail telling me how much they have enjoyed the book. Sometimes I read a review on Amazon.com that pleases me no end. And I also find reviews on a site, www.goodreads.com which posts reviews by members who have purchased and read my book. On that site readers can actually rate my book, as they can on Amazon.
I’ve been lucky to receive mainly five star and five star ratings. This, of course, sends me into a total state of euphoria. However, I have received a two star rating by one particular reader which got me to wondering why she didn’t like my book so much. I checked out her profile and discovered she is a teenager. That didn’t make much sense to me because my book has won a couple of awards in the Young Adult and Teenage Categories in contests that I have entered.
I continued to try to understand the two star rating and so I read the brief review she wrote. She stated that she didn’t understand why Ilse and her Jewish family were in such a panic when Hitler’s troops marched into her hometown of Vienna. She didn’t understand? Didn’t she know anything about the program of extermination of Jews that the Hitler regine instituted shortly thereafter? Didn’t she know anything about the concentration camps that sprung up shortly thereafter? She didn’t know anything about the gas chambers and ovens in those death camps? Doesn’t she go to school? Don’t they teach this stuff in history class? Where has she been?
A lot of people tell me that they are glad I wrote about this little girl Ilse in Europe at this time who was lucky enough not to end up in such a camp and who is still here to write about that story. She was too young to know about those camps, but she was certainly old enough to experience the panic that all Jews felt at that time and to take that fear with her to America where it effected her throughout her entire childhood and adolescence.
Perhaps I should send this young reader an addendum which would explain this history to her.