Ina R. Friedman has explored the impact of the Nazi regime on the lives of young people in three books. Her first, Escape or Die; True Stories of Young People Who Survived the Holocaust describes the courageous and desperate steps young Jews took to escape from the Nazis. Her second book, The Other Victims: First Person Stories of Non-Jews Persecuted by the Nazis, an ALAYAD "Best Books" and an ABA "Pick of the List,", examines the Nazis' attempt to create a master race by wiping out so called "defective traits" and the human suffering caused by the Nazis' policies. In this third book, Flying Against the Wind: The Story of a Young Woman Who Defies the Nazis, she relates the story of a young German Christian who refuses to accept the hatred and violence of the Nazis. Though she pays a terrible price for her resistance, she remains undefeated in spirit. Ina R. Friedman has also written two books on the theme of cultural understanding. Her Reading Rainbow picture book, How My Parents Learned to Eat, received a Christopher Award for promoting cultural understanding. Her book, Black Cop, tells the story of a young man who rose from the ghetto to become deputy chief of the Washington, D.C. police force. Ms. Friedman holds a B.A. from Penn State University and an M.A. from Lesley College in storytelling. She lives in Brookline, MA., and lectures throughout the United States.
Allen Say, 1937 - Allen Say was born in 1937 in Yokohama, Japan and grew up during the war, attending seven different primary schools amidst the ravages of falling bombs. His parents divorced in the wake of the end of the war and he moved in with his maternal grandmother, with whom he did not get along with. She eventually let him move into a one room apartment, and Say began to make his dream of being a cartoonist a reality. He was twelve years old. Say sought out his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei, and begged him to take him on as an apprentice. He spent four years with Shinpei, but at the age of 16 moved to the United States with his father. Say was sent to a military school in Southern California but then expelled a year later. He struck out to see California with a suitcase and twenty dollars. He moved from job to job, city to city, school to school, painting along the way, and finally settled on advertising photography and prospered. Say's first children's book was done in his photo studio, between shooting assignments. It was called "The Ink-Keeper's Apprentice" and was the story of his life with Noro Shinpei. After this, he began to illustrate his own picture books, with writing and illustrating becoming a sort of hobby. While illustrating "The Boy of the Three-year Nap" though, Say suddenly remembered the intense joy I knew as a boy in my master's studio and decided to pursue writing and illustrating full time. Say began publishing books for children in 1968. His early work, consisting mainly of pen-and-ink illustrations for Japanese folktales, was generally well received; however, true success came in 1982 with the publication of The Bicycle Man, based on an incident in Say's life. "The Boy of the Three-Year Nap" published in 1988, and written by Dianne Snyder, was selected as a 1989 Caldecott Honor Book and winner of The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for best picture book.