Gary D. Schmidt
Mara's Stories: Glimmers in the Darkness
March 19, 2019 Comments.. 735
Mara s Stories Glimmers in the Darkness A testament to the power of stories and how they may bring hope even in times of darkness Everyone gathers around and from her lips to their ears the stories go and for a little while the camp disa

  • Title: Mara's Stories: Glimmers in the Darkness
  • Author: Gary D. Schmidt
  • ISBN: 9780805067941
  • Page: 278
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A testament to the power of stories, and how they may bring hope even in times of darkness Everyone gathers around, and from her lips to their ears the stories go, and for a little while the camp disappears, and for a little while they are all free As night falls, the women gather their children to listen to Mara tell her stories They are stories of light and hope and fA testament to the power of stories, and how they may bring hope even in times of darkness Everyone gathers around, and from her lips to their ears the stories go, and for a little while the camp disappears, and for a little while they are all free As night falls, the women gather their children to listen to Mara tell her stories They are stories of light and hope and freedom, stories of despair and stories of miracles, stories of expected pain and stories of unexpected joy all told in the darkness of the concentration camp barracks Through extensive research noted in the back of the book, Gary Schmidt has skillfully woven together stories from such sources as the Jewish religious scholar, Martin Buber, Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel and folklorists, Steve Zeitlin and Yaffa Eliach.Combining lore of the past with tales born in the concentration camps, Mara s stories speak to us from a time that must never be forgotten.

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    1 Blog on “Mara's Stories: Glimmers in the Darkness

    1. Philip says:

      A phalanx of guards poised behind it, their faces showing nothing, their stone hands holding machine guns. They had seen the ritual of this division a thousand times. One yawned widely as Herr Shaul shuffled toward them.Are the demons in hell bored? Herr Shaul wondered. This is definitely the darkest YA (or possibly even MG) book I have ever read. But it is also a compelling book that deals with an important subject. Some of the stories are better than others, and a few were so obscure as to jus [...]

    2. Joe says:

      I liked this collection of stories and the thread that connect them. Almost as interesting was the appendix which told where the stories came from historically. For anyone who enjoys reading about the Holocaust, I believe you need to add this collection if you haven't already done so.

    3. Michelle says:

      This short story collection is hard hitting and thought provoking. Some dark, some hopeful-worth the read, and a good complement to other WW2 reading.

    4. Ryne says:

      [Note: Spoilers ahead!]CATEGORY SATISFIED: Gary D. SchmidtPlot summary: Every night the women prisoners in the concentration camp come together to hear Mara tell stories. Mara was the daughter of a Rabbi, and each night she masterfully retells old Jewish fables in the context of the joys and horrors that Jews experienced living in Nazi Germany and in the concentration camps . . actually, in terms of plot, that's about it. Mara is basically the only real character in this novel, and even she's no [...]

    5. Melanie Forbush says:

      Gary Schmidt combines his deep love for relating history with his talent for telling stories. He creates Mara, a name meaning "bitter" in Hebrew, bitter for the bitterest experiences she must go through as a concentration camp Holocaust prisoner during World War II. Mara has a gift for storytelling, sharing stories to the other prisoners at night after they return from tiresome chores. These Hasidic tales that her Rabbi father taught her are the very elements these prisoners need to find hope an [...]

    6. Linda Lipko says:

      It is not surprising that I rate this book so highly, given the fact that Gary Schmidt's books The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy were two of my top reads in 2009.Once again Schmidt wove magic with his astute understanding of human nature and his fantastic writing ability that hooks you in and keeps you riveted from the first to the last page.Using Rabbinical stories, tellings of Hasidic traditions, folktales and actual recollections from the concentrations camps, Schmi [...]

    7. Christy says:

      A testament to the power of stories, and how they may bring hope even in times of darkness."Everyone gathers around, and from her lips to their ears the stories go, and for a little while the camp disappears, and for a little while they are all free."As night falls, the women gather their children to listen to Mara tell her stories. They are stories of light and hope and f. A testament to the power of stories, and how they may bring hope even in times of darkness."Everyone gathers around, and fr [...]

    8. Stephanie says:

      I feel like I had to give this book three stars, as if giving it less would show disrespect for my ancestors who were in the concentration camps during the Holocaust. This book was interesting. There was a brief description of Mara at the beginning of each section followed by short stories of tales of how Jews outsmarted the Nazis or how God helped them to outsmart or escape the Nazis. I have always had an issue reading short stories. I never feel like I gain anything from reading them. They are [...]

    9. McNeil Inksmudge says:

      I didn't expect this to be such a short book, nor did I understand that it would be a collection of short stories told my jews. I liked it, a lot. I thought it was good and reflective of jewish culture. It's insightful as a multicultural book, but also as a historical piece to give readers insight to that era.I thought it was creative of Schmidt to take folk tales and to put a jewish branding on them. I've never heard of any of them before, and I liked how he explained it in the appendix. Some o [...]

    10. Jessica says:

      Although this book was interesting to me while I was reading it, something that was said in a discussion we had about it made it even more intriguing and I found myself going back and rereading it. The comment was that there really are no other books like this, of any other event or religion, in young adult literature. This was amazing to me because I thought that the way the stories and folk tales were presented were so beautiful and crafted so well, I would have thought there would be other bo [...]

    11. Katie says:

      This book was utterly beautiful. I think as I was reading this there were two options in which I was contemplating that happen after a tramatic event. Either people will group together, often making them stronger because they have to rely on each other or a tramatic even will break people apart. It's as if the strain of a tramatic event is too much for one to take and; therefore, they push people away. In this beautiful collection of short stories I saw both instances. In the very first short st [...]

    12. Kenzie Keppner says:

      This book was very moving. It was written perfectly for young adults, but at the same time showed the corruption that went on during the Holocaust. I felt like I was Mara, and I was telling each of the stories. Most of the stories were easy to read and understand. There really wasn't a whole lot of violence. It was definitely censored for young adults. I felt that there could of been a little bit more graphic scenes but the descriptions were still amazing. The stories were written very well and [...]

    13. Amanda says:

      I enjoyed reading this book because of the small nuggets in each story. Some of the stories offered hope while other offered impossible miracles. Still other stories expressed the sadness and pain associated with the holocaust. I marked 15 passages. I wanted to mark most of the book. I wanted to share my favorite story from the collection, but I couldn’t choose just one. “A Globe” and “God in Court” are two that reached out to me and wrenched my heart. The other stories are also amazin [...]

    14. Rachel says:

      This was a pretty good tween Holocaust novel. I liked that the stories weren't graphic, which made the book even better for teens starting their first Holocaust unit, and that they were more focused on individuals, rather than the Holocaust as a whole, because it made the genocide more personal and easier to handle/understand for young adults; the concept that millions of people lost their lives in the Holocaust is hard to wrap one's head around, but putting faces on the historical tragedy made [...]

    15. Karmee says:

      Mara's stories was an interesting collection of little short stories and a very quick read. I know some people who found it apparently extremely enlightening and uplifting, but it really wasn't for me. It was, to be honest, a little slow moving at some points, but not so much that you didn't want to keep reading. I read this novel for my Young Adult Literature class but, to be honest, I don't see how it can be considered young adult. It does not have a young adult protagonist and there is no evi [...]

    16. Louisa George says:

      I've decided that short story books can be difficult for me because my attention seems to jump all over the place and it's hard for me to stay engaged when I have to keep starting at the beginning over and over again. That being said however, I really enjoyed a lot of the stories presented in this book and thought that the book overall gave an interesting, new perspective on the holocaust and the people in it. I loved how the book consisted of a lot of different types of stories as well, some th [...]

    17. Jana Merrill says:

      I think that this book was a very interesting way to look at the Holocaust and the horrible things that the Jewish people had to go through. I really think that this book would be beneficial to use in a history class while studying the Holocaust. I could see a teacher reading a story or two every day. I think that the stories can help the students become interested in the topic of the Holocaust because the stories are witty and I think they reflect how some of the Jewish people felt during that [...]

    18. Cory Hernandez says:

      I would say that this was probably one of my favorite books that we read this semester. It was very different that most Holocaust books. It was funny, sad, dramatic, and provided the intensity that normal Holocaust books had all at the same time. The book is a combination of short stories from different points of view which make the book different. It's cool to see what Jewish stories are and how they compare and differ to American stories. I would reccommend this story to a teacher that would b [...]

    19. Madeline says:

      This compilation of stories was great. I really liked this because it talked about the time surrounding the Holocaust. I liked it because it had a mixture of what this time was all about. It had the truth and horrible acts going on but then it had stories of hope and religion. I liked it because it was real. It was such a hard time for so many people and the stories show that. It shows the Rabbis and their beliefs, their hopes, the darkness, the sadness, it shows the time perfectly. I liked it a [...]

    20. DavidDespain says:

      Actually, I really enjoyed this very short and simple book. It was a fascinating glimpse into Judaism. Although it is set during the period often called the Holocaust, it is not a traditional holocaust. It is a beautiful collection of stories that seemed to share the same message of hope. All the stories are based on actual Jewish legends and folktales. This is a great book for a teacher that wants to help give students a glimpse into another culture. It is not graphic or violent, and it's overl [...]

    21. Amy Bethke says:

      I thought that this book was written so beautifully. Every story touched me in a different way and I loved all the different emotions that this book was able to convey. Though this book was written for more of the tween age I believe it is still a powerful Holocaust book for anyone who reads it. The individual tales are able to show so many different sides of the Jewish people, from hope and faith to loss and despair. This book could easily be taught in middle school as an introduction to the Ho [...]

    22. Andrew says:

      Interesting little book. Very quick read. A collection of Jewish folktales told by a narrator who is a Jewish woman--Mara--a matronly concentration camp prisoner, to whom the women and children come to for nightly stories. Once again, Schmidt shows his versatility across genres and his ability to write on a variety of topics. And once again, I find the author notes in the back of the book fascinating. The opportunity to get inside the author's brain and hear the rationale for choosing and alteri [...]

    23. Andrea says:

      This book was touching but not one of my favorites. It was a glimmer of hope and shed a lot of light on what it would have been like to live as a prisoner during the holocaust. Some stories were precious and others were disturbing, but in a very real way. I liked that the stories are real though and that you feel like you know some of the characters. I think this would be a good book to read for hish school or middle school kids because it is short, fast, and not completely depressing. Ratings: [...]

    24. Amanda Peterson says:

      Okay, so this book was okay. It was neither horrible or extraordinary. I did enjoy quite a few stories within the book, and could see how ever symbolic they could be. With that being sad this is your run of the mill Holocaust book. I do like learning about the Holocaust, and finding it interesting and very depressing. So, this book was just about that for me: interesting and depressing. It was a good read, and I think that teachers should use this book when the teach the Holocaust. WARNINGSHoloc [...]

    25. Rebecca says:

      REQUIRED AUTHOR: GARY D. SCHMIDTThis book is a collection of folklore as well as stories based on certain events during the Holocaust. The author is Schmidt, but the narrator of the stories is Mara, a girl who gathers the women and children of the barracks together every night to share stories. Some of the stories are uplifting, others are tragic. Many are even humorous, such as the story of the Jewish man who tricked the SS guard into paying him lots of money for ordinary animals. Between the c [...]

    26. Shandi Hibbert says:

      Gary Schmidt's style of writing took me some getting used to. At first I thought of it as a littlewell boring. But as I got to reading more of it I realized that he has a unique style ans I like it. It flows in a choppy way. It's very poetic. It works very well when dealing with the Holocaust. Mara's Stories is a great collection of short stories that take place before, after, and during the Holocaust. Each story has its own message. Some are funny, some are sad, and some bring hope. This is a g [...]

    27. Chloe Sanders says:

      I really enjoyed Mara's stories. Everyone seems to always goes through a Holocaust phase. The thing that I really enjoyed about Mara's Stories, were the religious aspects. I took a world religions class last semester and we didn't spend as much time on Judaism as I would have liked; So I was really glad that there were religious elements in almost every story. I dont think I could choose my favorite short story in the book, but I do remember really liking the story about the farmer who kept sell [...]

    28. Brittney Osterhout says:

      I don't know if I really liked this book. The very first story in the book I was able to hear Gary Schmidt tell and that made me really like that story when I heard it and when I read it. Maybe I need to reread it again but some of the stories seemed to go right over my head. There were some stories however that made me laugh a little and some I was able to understand and they were very powerful to me. I guess I am one that doesn't always understand the story like they say on page 88.Scale of 0- [...]

    29. Josh says:

      GARY D. SCHMIDT CATEGORYThis book is a series of short stories, folktales if you will, of many Jews, ranging from rabbis to rural residents, during the Holocaust. Most are very somber and serious in tone, but not without glimmers of hope. I personally have nothing against the manner in which Schmidt went about telling the stories, or even the content of the stories themselves. I just didn't find them to be too compelling. At times I wondered if there was really any point to the stories as a whol [...]

    30. Michelle Starrs says:

      Schmidt takes a dive into the Holocaust that was new and fresh to me. This short collection of stories relays some of the folk lore during the time. The stories are all told my Mara, a woman in a concentration camp. Each night she feels inspired to tell one story or another. Some are of hope and some are sad while others are even funny. These stories were very insightful. It gave me a chance to try and insert myself into the reality of horrific doings of the time. It was a good reminder of what [...]

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