Why is reading milkweed and learning about WW2 and the Holocaust so important ?

Why is reading milkweed and learning about WW2 and the Holocaust so important ?

Most 7th graders are currently reading a historical fiction book called Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli, which is based on the story of a boy named Misha. Misha Misha’s identity changes throughout the book. The book focuses on a very intriguing and heartbreaking topic: the Holocaust and World War 2. Students learn about what the Jewish people went through during the Holocaust that occurred between 1933 and 1945. 

According to an article posted in 2020 by Pew Research Center, adults know what the Holocaust is, but they don’t know many important details about it. Only 45% of adults are aware that 6 million Jewish people were killed during the Holocaust. In fact, 15% of adults think three million Jewish people or less died during the Holocaust. 

 I have interviewed Mrs. Horvath on this topic because she teaches the book Milkweed in her 7th-grade ELA classes. “We are reading milkweed because we have a literary unit where we analyze the pieces of literature and write a literary essay. Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli has some excellent examples of figurative language/smiley face tricks. Spinelli does an extremely nice job of sensory language. In addition to this, we learn about the Holocaust. It’s important to learn about Holocaust because we don’t want events like that to repeat as time passes, the Holocaust survivors pass away, and it’s critical that we continue to tell the victims’ stories and honor them. Anti-semitism is on the rise in the United States, and I believe that educating children and teaching them about the dangers of hate is important. Many Holocaust survivors speak of love and spreading love. I want that message to be heard by our West students.”

Mrs. Horvath has taught Milkweed for six years, but West has taught the book long before Mrs. Horvath.

It is extremely important that we know about the Holocaust. We also learned in class that Adolf Hitler was not the only person responsible for this sad event. We have learned about Heinrich Himmler and many others. We learned that people who let harm happen are at fault, and staying silent when you see something wrong is harmful. 

Although some people enjoy the book Milkweed and some don’t, it tells a very important story about the life of these people and all that they had to go through.