The children were very fortunate to take part in a virtual author visit today, along with 125 other schools around Norfolk.
The renowned author Miriam Halahmy discussed and read some of her book ‘Saving Hanno: The story of a refugee boy and his dog’.
The story is set in the Second World War and she gave the children a brief history of the German Jewish children’s exodus from Nazi Germany as well as the trials and tribulations that they faced.
The main character: Rudi, has a pet dog called ‘Hanno’ that he loves very much but cannot bring with him on the Kindertransport. However, he manages to find a way to get the dog to London and then discovers Hanno is still in danger. . .
After listening to some of the exciting story, the children were asked to write a poem about being a refugee and were told to think about how strange everything would seem to a refugee child coming to England from another country.
As Rudi the (hero of the book) is re-united with his dog – after a six month quarantine period – he has to face the difficulties that being in a country at war with a pet dog bring.
Miriam explained to the children what had happened to pets at the outbreak of World War 2 which they found very surprising. Below are some of her comments:
- Three quarters of a million pets were put down at the start of the war in England.
- All poisonous pets in zoos were put down.
- No pets were allowed in air raid shelters.
In the final part of the virtual visit, the children were shown a very small suitcase that the Jewish children were allowed to take with them on the Kindertransport. They were then asked to write one word that the suitcase evoked.
We are really looking forward to reading the poems and sharing them.
At the end of the visit, Miriam spoke to the children about one of the hardest things for a new child to accomplish. “Open the door to your friendship group and allow new children to enter, you always have room for one more.” Miriam Malahmy.
Millie, a child from Year 3 said ”It is very interesting to learn about some of the event of the war and interesting to consider a refugees point of view.”