Chance: Escape from the Holocaust: Memories of a Refugee Childhood by Uri Shulevitz, Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, October 13, 2020

“I wrote Chance as a memorial to my parents, who are no longer alive, and who can now live forever in my book. I wrote it now while I still have vivid memories of events from over 80 years ago, and before I begin to forget them. I call my memoir Chance because during World War II blind chance decided who shall live and who shall die.

When I began working on the book, I started thinking about my life as a kid. As memories came, I took notes. Once I had many notes, I began writing. As I wrote, more memories came. Some of these memories were very painful, bringing tears to my eyes. There were also humorous moments, bringing comic relief to my story. So that overall writing this memoir was a cathartic experience.

Certain events were of particular importance, which I wanted to bring to the reader’s attention. In order for them not to get lost as words among words, and to slow down the reader, I introduced graphic sequences in which one has to look at pictures and not just read the words.” — Uri Shulevitz

Images from Chance written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz.

Uri Shulevitz (b. Warsaw, Poland, 1935) has written and illustrated many celebrated children’s books. He won the Caldecott Medal for The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, written by Arthur Ransome, and three Caldecott Honors for The TreasureSnow, and How I Learned Geography. His other books include One Monday MorningDawnSo Sleepy Story, and the instructional guide Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books. He lives in New York City.