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The Missing

Written by Michael Rosen

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The Missing Review

Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers Gritty Reads History People / Places Warfare / Battles

The True Story of My Family in World War II

Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021

A personal, powerful and resonant account of the Holocaust by one of this country's best-loved children's authors. By turns charming, shocking and heart-breaking, this is the true story of Michael Rosen's search for his relatives who went missing during the Second World War - told through prose, poetry, maps and pictures.


Other Info

Supported and checked by the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education.

Find out more about the UKLA Awards 2021

The Missing Synopsis

When Michael was growing up, stories often hung in the air about his great-uncles: one was a clock-mender and the other a dentist. They were there before the war, his dad would say, and weren't after. Over many years, Michael tried to find out exactly what happened: he interviewed family members, scoured the internet, pored over books and traveled to America and France. The story he uncovered was one of terrible persecution - and it has inspired his poetry for years since. Here, poems old and new are balanced against an immensely readable narrative; both an extraordinary account and a powerful tool for talking to children about the Holocaust.

The Missing Press Reviews

Rosen intersperses his family memoir with his own poetry to create a fascinating, chilling and poignantly personal take on unimaginable horrors of genocide. - The Financial Times

The personal connection, the use of source materials, the accessibility of the text and the way it encourages empathy (both with historical and current events) all make this an invaluable text for UKS2 and KS3. A poignant and essential read. - ReadingZone

What is so affecting about this book is its gentle tone. Instead of anger, there is contemplation - and, as always with Rosen, an innate ability to see every mystery through a child's eyes. - The Telegraph

Rosen handles the difficult topic as sensitively and thoughtfully as you would expect, always writing in a straightforward and accessible way for children, interspersed with his own poetry. - BookTrust

Rosen makes comparisons with the present-day refugee crisis and injects hope in the final chapter (and, boy, do we need it), with one of his best poems, Today; One Day. Essential reading. - The Times, Book of the Week

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781406386752
Publication date: 12/12/2019
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406386752
Publication date: 12th December 2019
Author: Michael Rosen
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 128 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: Gritty Reads, History, People / Places, Warfare / Battles

About Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen is a hugely bestselling author of picture books and poetry. Michael frequently appears on radio and gives talks and lectures on children’s literature. Michael was the Children’s Laureate for 2007–2009 and the winner of the Eleanor Farjeon Award. He lives in London. Michael Rosen on Michael Rosen:I grew up in the London suburb of Pinner, a place my parents often wondered about. How had we landed there? My parents were teachers, politically committed (socialists), and great storytellers and readers. I was lucky to have found them. Most of my adult life, I've ...

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