Kisses from Hanna

by Carol Cross, Jean Reynolds



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 10/25/2000

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5x8
Page Count : 380
ISBN : 9781585007592

About the Book

They were just two teenage girls when they began writing during the Great Depression. These letters from Hanna (in Holland) to Ruth (in the United States) date from the early 1930’s to the late 1970’s . They include World War II experiences that Hanna suffered, as well as illustrate what life was like in the world during this period. This is a story about a friendship that impacted both lives and that will bring tears to the eyes of the reader.

During 1940 and 1941 – after the Nazi invasion and the near destruction of Rotterdam – Ruth acted as a liaison between Hanna and Aad, then in Java, and their families back in Holland. The war made it impossible for any correspondence between the families. However, Ruth was able to communicate with each. Hanna later said, "Ruth held the threads of our families in her dear hands."

Historically true and poignantly personal, these letters ranged from trivial to world-shaking events – from box suppers and school activities to Nazi occupations and Japanese prisoner-of-war camps. Neither girl could have foreseen how important each would be to the other when Ruth selected Hanna’s name from a list of potential pen pals.

About the Author

Jean Ellen Reynolds, Ph.D. is a former teacher and administrator in Carterville, Il. She earned her degrees from Southern Illinois University. Carol H. Cross is a retired elementary English/Social Studies teacher (E. St. Louis, Alton, and Carterville in Illinois plus N. Haven, CT) with an MS Ed. Both are grandmothers, European travelers, and friends as well as colleagues.

When the authors had the opportunity to perserve this story for the enjoyment and edification of the present and future generations, it was a labor of love. Young people have said, "We knew there was a war and that concentration camps existed, but this book makes it so personel." As teachers Cross and Reynolds are dedicated to sharing the past in the hope of preventing similar tragedies in the future. They also want to encourage more joyful international relationships through pen pals (e-mailing?) to further the understanding of people in other cultures.