The book ‘My Canary Yellow Star’ has this title because when the Germans came, they made the Jewish citizens wear a yellow star on their clothing to be easily identified as Jewish. This is a big part of the story, because the star determined whether or not they should be treated equally or not. By sewing the yellow star onto their clothes means that the friends they have that aren’t Jewish will likely become their enemies. They aren’t allowed to leave their homes at certain times of the day, or go into many places. If they had a job, they most likely won’t have one for long, and if someone harms them, justice isn’t found, just forgotten. It makes them the last priority in everything. Having to wear a yellow star can also mean death for some people-
‘”Come on old lady! Get going!” “No!” Grandmama said quietly. “No, I won’t.” The Arrow Cross thug’s hand moved so rapidly that I almost missed it. The heel of his rifle made a loud thud against my grandmother’s temple, and she crumpled to the ground.”’
A central idea running though the book is that you shouldn’t treat somebody badly just because of things like race, beliefs, and in the ‘My Canary Star’, religion, or that just because one person thinks something doesn’t mean that you have to agree. Like the German soldiers thinking that Jewish people are wrong and should be able to live happily, and so the rest of Hungary agreed. Before the Germans influenced them, they had no problem with any of that. None of those things should matter. They aren’t valid reasons for hurting people, physically or mentally. Everyone should be treated equally no matter what. Before the Germans invaded Hungary and basically intimidated and brainwashed all the non-Jewish people into believing that Jewish people are ‘scum’ and should be treated different than everyone else.
Can I summarize this character in a nutshell?
My Canary Yellow Star is about a fifteen year old Jewish girl named Marta, and her family living in Hungary when the Germans invaded. Slowly their freedoms are taken away one by one. First all the Jewish people have to wear 6 inch Jewish stars on their clothing to be identified. Then there was a curfew placed for only the Jewish. Eventually they were only aloud to live in certain places. People start treating them horrifically, even their old friends. They couldn’t anything about it because all of the police and soldiers are against them. The only way they can be saved is to obtain a Schultz- pass. It means that you are ‘property’ of Sweden and can’t be harmed by German soldiers or Arrow Cross soldiers. To get one of these, they have to be connected to Sweden somehow. Luckily, Marta’s family has a connection to Sweden through business, but it doesn’t stop all of the madness.