Benno and the Broken Glass

Benno and the Night of Broken Glass - Meg Wiviott, Josée Bisaillon

Kristallnacht marked the beginning of the Holocaust for many and for Benno; the life around him has been shattered. Told from the perspective of a neighborhood cat, this novel shows the transformation from his quiet, peaceful streets to violent, chaotic scenes as Benno tries to understand his world around him. As Benno’s world changes instantly, the illustrations with their bright, sharp colors show the disarray around him, relaying the turmoil that the individuals are up against. Being an innocent bystander, it’s interesting to see Benno view of this undertaking, his confusion as some of his “humans” are no longer the individuals they were yesterday and yet he does not know why. The destruction lies all around this four-legged animal and he’s puzzled, just like any young child or anyone who does not understand the labels someone has placed on the people living in this area. It is a great book to read or to add to a unit on this subject as it gives another perspective, the illustrations show the transformation and I thought the author did a wonderful job with the subject matter. It’s a difficult subject matter but I feel it’s one that needs to be addressed and this book does it perfectly. Grades 5 and up (I think – or depending on your reader).