#SurvivalStories2021 Books Early Readers Features Genre Lifespan of a Reader Middle Grade Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes Stories Of The Dispossessed

[Nonfiction Wednesday] The Quiet Hero Of Britain’s Kindertransport

"Nicky and Vera" by Peter Sis.

Myra here.

We are delighted to dedicate our Wednesdays to featuring nonfiction titles, as per usual. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.

We are pleased to launch our quarterly reading theme from April to June this year on Migrants, Exiles, Refugees: Stories Of The Dispossessed. Essentially, we are on the look-out for books with the following themes:

  1. Stories of exile and movement from one place to another – either by choice or by circumstance

  2. Narratives on im/migrants, belonging and exclusion

  3. Tales of people who are in transition and displaced from their homes

  4. Stories of seeking refuge and sanctuary and finding forever homes

  5. Narratives of loss and dispossession


Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero Of The Holocaust And The Children He Rescued (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written and Illustrated by Peter Sis
Published by Norton Young Readers (2021)
ISBN: 9781324015741 (ISBN10: 1324015748) Borrowed via Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

This book portrays parallel stories of two ordinary people born around 19 years apart: the Englishman Nicky (or Nicholas Winton, born in 1909) and Vera (Veruska Diamantova, born in 1928) from the country once known as Czechoslovakia.

Both were blessed to experience a happy childhood with friends and loved ones – that is, until war came in 1939.

Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 1.39.19 PM

Nicky could have opted to live a quiet and safe existence back in England. After all, he was doing fairly well as a banker and quite distinguished for his skills in fencing. Yet, he was drawn by a friend to Prague where he felt compelled to do something to help young Jewish people (under seventeen years old) flee their Nazi-occupied homes in Prague via the Kindertransport to Britain, as organized by the British Committee for Refugees.

Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 1.39.41 PM

Vera was one of the young people aboard the Kindertransport. While she was provided a chance at a new life, her family was not as fortunate, having perished under the Nazi regime.

Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 1.40.56 PM

It was not until many years later that Nicky and Vera had an opportunity to meet. Nicky went on to live a quiet and peaceful life in Britain with his wife, who found the records of the many children Nicky helped out during the war – an act of heroism he never spoke about.

As I was reading the story, I realized that I have actually watched a short clip of the BBC feature that was done on Nicholas Winton’s life on social media a few years back. I managed to find it on Youtube – great video to pair with this PBB by Peter Sis. Don’t blame me if you’re crying after watching it.

#SurvivalStories2021 Update: 60 out of target 100

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

1 comment on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] The Quiet Hero Of Britain’s Kindertransport

  1. Pingback: [Nonfiction Wednesday] A Tribute To The Children Of Morelia – Gathering Books

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