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Updated: Jan 29

By Tara Lynn Masih

National Jewish Book Award Finalist

2019 Shelf Unbound Notable Book

Winner of the Julia Ward Howe Award for Young Readers A Florida Book Award Gold Medal Winner A Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award Winner, Gold A Skipping Stones Honor Award Book A Litsy Award Nominee A Goodreads' Best Book of the Month, Sept. 2018

Inspired by real Holocaust events, this poignant debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age story that will resonate with fans of The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray. #1 New Release on Amazon in Children’s Holocaust Fiction

I am beginning to realize that freedom means you can be who you are meant to be, whatever that is. That freedom means different things to different people. That breathing without any thought to it is a gift. Now, I think about breathing all the time. What is it like to take your last breath? What if the sound of it gave you away?

Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler’s army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in “free of Jews.” Until the German occupation, Hanna spent her time exploring Kwasova with her younger siblings, admiring the drawings of the handsome Leon Stadnick, and helping her neighbor dye decorative pysanky eggs. But now she, Leon, and their families are forced to flee and hide in the forest outside their shtetele—and then in the dark caves beneath the rolling meadows, rumored to harbor evil spirits. Underground, they battle sickness and starvation, while the hunt continues above. When Hanna’s father disappears, suddenly it’s up to Hanna to find him—and to find a way to keep the rest of her family, and friends, alive.

Sparse, resonant, and lyrical, weaving in tales of Jewish and Ukrainian folklore, My Real Name Is Hanna celebrates the sustaining bonds of family, the beauty of a helping hand, and the tenacity of the human spirit.


“A gripping story of courage and endurance in the face of Nazi terror . . . My Real Name Is Hanna is a book that lives with you long after you have turned the final page.”

–Diney Costeloe, best-selling author of The Girl with No Name and The Throwaway Children

“Tara Lynn Masih’s lovely, lyrical novel made me feel like I was reading a part of my parents’ story that I'd neglected to write . . . a worthy addition to the canon of Holocaust literature for young readers. As fine, delicate, and artful as a painted pysanka egg.”

Helen Maryles Shankman, author of They Were Like Family to Me, 2016 Story Prize finalist

My Real Name Is Hanna is a stirring story of survival, resilience, and love. Masih breathes life into the smallest of details, and gives us a powerful look into a world not often explored.”

̶ Crystal Chan, author of Bird, shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize

“It’s said the Holocaust defies imagination. Tara Lynn Masih defies that notion. My Real Name Is Hanna is a powerful, revelatory leap of imagination, taking readers on a journey with 14-year-old Hanna from the slowly enveloping horror of the Holocaust, to the literal and spiritual depths of being buried alive, and finally a salvation of ineffable joy and sadness—emerging from a premature grave into sunlight like a defiant young phoenix. An unforgettable odyssey.”

̶ Greg Dawson, author of Hiding in the Spotlight: A Musical Prodigy’s Story of Survival

My Real Name Is Hanna is a beautifully told and deeply moving novel. Masih is to be commended for shining light on a little-known piece of Ukrainian history. . . . This novel is about the stories that surround and sustain us in the darkest times—from the histories in the trees and in the ground beneath us to the words that feed us.”

̶ Tilar J. Mazzeo, author of Irena’s Children, a New York Post Best Book of 2016, and of The Widow Cliquot, a New York Times best seller

“A beautiful, compelling story . . . in bringing light to the caves of memory, Tara Lynn Masih gives us the redeeming power of storytelling.”

–Bobbie Ann Mason, PEN/Hemingway Award winner, author of The Girl in the Blue Beret and In Country

Tara Lynn Masih. More information can be found at www.TaraMasih.com

TARA LYNN MASIH is author of the acclaimed short story collection Where the Dog Star Never Glows, and is editor of two award-winning anthologies, The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays. Founder of The Best Small Fictions series, she received a finalist grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council along with multiple awards and Pushcart Prize nominations for her fiction. My Real Name Is Hanna is her first novel. She divides her time between Andover, Massachusetts, and St. Augustine, Florida.


“A brilliantly rendered memorial to survivors of the Holocaust. . . .VERDICT A strong choice for Young Adult shelves."”

~School Library Journal

“After working at the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center for twenty-six years, I have read my share of Holocaust fiction and nonfiction. I am tremendously impressed with My Real Name Is Hanna. It reads beautifully, is filled with such important and precise detail, and truly is a work of art.”

~Merle R. Saferstein, former director of educational outreach, Holocaust Documentation and Education Center

“The story . . . is told effectively and movingly. . . . This is a well-written and highly recommended selection.”

~Jewish Book Council




ISBN: 9781942134510/ Paper with Flaps/ YA Fiction/ $16.95/ 208 pages/ 5.5 x 9

DISTRIBUTION: Ingram Publisher Services (IPS) 800-343-4499. Email orders can be sent to ipsjacksonorders@ingramcontent.com

READER’S GUIDE: Free reader’s guide for teaching and book clubs available at https://www.mvpublishers.org/readers

PUBLICITY: Goodreads; Ingram ADVANCE Teen Supplement; Book Club Daily; festivals; author tour; blog tour; award contests CONTACT: Robert Mandel, robert@mandelvilar.org | 806-790-4731