Reading Club: Children’s Book (9–12 years old) | My People - Εικόνα

In October, the Children’s Reading Club for young booklovers aged 10 to 12 continues its meetings, facilitated by author Angeliki Darlasi. Angeliki Darlasi is a writer of prose and theatrical plays, while she has also engaged with television and cinema. Among her awarded works are: The Boy in the Royal Box, Badboy, When We Hid an Angel, and Dream Guardians.

The book that will be discussed in this month's meeting is My People by Marisa Decastro 

Our young readers will meet to share impressions, feelings and thoughts, as well as to embark on an imaginary journey, sparked by the book of the month, into the fascinating worlds emerging from its pages. 

The book

Everything was normal in the life of Rebecca’s family. They all lived together, and had a good life, in Athens, near Omonoia Square. Until one day, in 1940, the war comes to Greece. And every time a war breaks out anywhere, life ceases to have its usual normality, for all people who are forced to live under conditions of war. But for Rebecca’s family, there is one additional reason, especially after April 1941, when the Nazi conquerors enter Athens. 

Their lives now depend on others, on other people’s kindness and their ability to keep a great secret. Because Rebecca and her family are Jewish. And Jews, like many others, are targeted by the Nazis. Will they be able to survive? And what part will a small village of Corinthia play in the fate of her family?  

However incredible this story might sound, it is actually based on personal testimony. As it was recorded and recounted by the book’s author, and then illustrated by the book’s illustrator. For, you see, there are real stories that can outdo even the most imaginative piece of fiction. 

So, let’s read this book together to learn more about the fate of Rebecca and, along with her, the fate of thousands of Jews during World War II. And to discuss how not forgetting the past can help us build a better and fairer future for all.

The writer
Marisa Decastro was born in Athens. She studied Pedagogy and Literature for Children and Young People at the University of Sorbonne. She taught History and Literature to primary school students in private education. She has written History and Art knowledge books for children, and has been translating literature for young people and adults. Since 1998, she has been writing reviews of books for children and adolescents (To Vima, Ta Nea, Diavazo, Ithaka, Bookpress, O Anagnostis). She is a member of the Hellenic Authors’ Society, the Greek IBBY, and the Editorial Committee of the electronic magazine O Anagnostis. Books of hers have been honored with the State Literary Award for Best Knowledge Book for Children (2006, 2018, 2020), the Greek IBBY Award for Best Knowledge Book for Children (2012, 2016), and the Best Translation of a Young Adults Book Award of the Hellenic Society of Translators of Literature (2014). She was listed in the IBBY 2016 Honor List for the Greek translation of the young adults book The Miracle. Books of hers are included in The White Ravens 2017 and 2018 catalogue of Munich’s International Youth Library.

The facilitator, Angeliki Darlasi 
A writer of literature for children and young adults, playwright, and teacher of creative writing and theater. Following a proposal by the Greek IBBY, she has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2024 and proclaimed Ambassador of Children’s Book 2022–2024. 
Works and books of hers have been translated into English, Turkish, Korean, Spanish, and French. Her books have been adapted for theater performances (most recently, The Boy in the Royal Box, by the National Theater of Greece, 2021-2022) and puppetry performances, while some are in the pre-production phase to be adapted into films (on screenplays by the author herself), in Greece and abroad.
She has participated as co-author in productions of the State Theaters of Karlsruhe and Uppsala and the National Theater of Luxembourg (2021 & 2022), and of the Union des Théâtres del’Europe (2018). Several plays of hers have been staged in Athens: SNFCC Lighthouse, Athens Concert Hall, Readers Theatre Festival of the Greek Art Theatre, Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People, Alkmini Theater, Amore Theater–stage B, etc.    
She has been repeatedly awarded and distinguished for her work (both prose and theatre). 
She has been teaching Creative Writing and/or Theatre since 2006 to adults as well as children and adolescents, collaborating with both public and private institutions. She is a facilitator and animator of activities for children and adolescents (creative writing, theater, arts and education, love of reading, etc.)  
She is a graduate of the University of Athens Department of Theatre Studies and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (MA in Performance Studies).

Activities before our meeting:

A few things that you may want to think about and take notes before our meeting, so we can share and discuss them when we meet:

- The story of this book is based on a true story that was preserved orally, by word of mouth. Would you like to ask an older member of your family whether they have an interesting story to tell you about your family? It might even be related to World War II. Or not. And if you want, you may then write it up and tell it to us. If not, it’s just as important that you know it now. 
- World War II was a particularly dark page in the history of humanity, not least because of the Holocaust. What impressed you the most while reading this book? And would you like to know more about this historical period? If you want, you may find out more information and share it with us. 
- This particular book has a special narrative mode, partly thanks to its illustration by Xara Marantidou. Would you agree, or disagree? What did you find striking, or not so impressive, in the way the text related to its illustration? 

Saturday 21/10, 17.30-19.00

NLG Kids Lab
Up to 22 participants | For children aged 9 to 12
Free admission with online pre-registration

Preregistration starts on 02/10.

Anyone reserving a seat at the Book Club is required to have read the book of the month (also, it is recommended that children bring the book with them.)

Children should always be accompanied by parents or adult attendants who should not be away from the outdoor activity.

The book is published by Kaleidoskopio.


See also

Wednesday 12/06, 18:00

First-Aid Course


Sunday 09/06, 13:00

Fun Dance


Tuesday 04/06, 19:00

Mini Basket