Just as important to my eyes as what has been nominated in different Cybil categories are the books that have NOT been nominated. Take, for example, The Boy In the Striped Pajamas. No one in the Middle Grade category has come out in support of that most divisive of 2006 publications. I find this interesting. As a book, BISP is a Holocaust "fable" with a questionable framework. It was with interest then that I read Monica Edinger's recent post on her blog as to whether or not we should really be foisting so many Holocaust books on our very young children.
But is this intended child audience developmentally ready to really understand the Holocaust? Certainly my 4th graders admire the acts of heroism and bravery, are shocked at the situations of incredible cruelty and prejudice, and are able to empathize with the suffering presented in these books. And they can go beyond them to talk of intolerance and injustice. But to even begin to understand the Holocaust in history, in the way it really needs to be understood, not at all. They are not ready.