The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II

By Michael Rosen

A personal, powerful and resonant account of the Holocaust by one of this country's best-loved children’s authors.

“Rosen shows children every shade of life – dark and gloomy or bright and dazzling.” Guardian 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 and poetry. 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 travelled 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. “One of our most popular children’s authors … Michael Rosen has a talent for saying much in the simplest way.” The Times

Categories: Non-Fiction

For readers aged: 10+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781406386752
  • Published: 12 Dec 2019
  • Price: £8.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 128

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Customer reviews


'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

'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

'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

'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

'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

'In a book that is so much about death, these stories come alive… The Missing may ostensibly concern the Holocaust but, as Rosen makes clear, this is a book about facing down prejudice, defying those who would sow the seeds of hat red and opening our arms to those in need.' The Telegraph

'The Missing may ostensibly concern the holocaust but, as Rosen makes clear, this is a book about facing down prejudice, defying those who would sow the seeds of hatred and opening our arms to those in need.' Yorkshire Post

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