A Maryland Woman’s Powerful Story of Surviving the Holocaust

by, Donna Ballard/Adult Librarian

Finding Edith, Surviving the Holocaust in Plain Sight
by Edith Mayer Cord

Edith Mayer Cord is a 92 year old Holocaust survivor who now lives in Maryland and she wrote a book:  Finding Edith, Surviving the Holocaust in Plain Sight, and it is available in book format or as an eBook (through Hoopla) at the Pratt Library. Mrs. Cord’s living with antisemitism and ethnic persecution is relatable to the issues still facing our world today. She is always willing to tell her story to all that want to hear about it in person, or by reading/listening to her book. She has talked at a couple of Pratt Library locations. As she talks about her story there are parts that still bring her to tears and cause a quiver in her voice, even though the events happened 76 years ago. Her book is a powerful addition to your reading list.

Her book, Finding Edith, Surviving the Holocaust in Plain Sight, is the story of religious and ethnic persecution of Jews, running from country to country to stay safe, wondering if her family was alright, where they were, and contemplating if life would ever return to normal. Edith was born in 1928 and grew up in Vienna, Austria, until the Nazis began grabbing power throughout different parts of Europe. Her father helped her family to escape Vienna and she moved several times, trying to hide in plain sight as she tried to go to school as someone else. During all that time of hiding herself, keeping her real feelings and thoughts to herself, Edith created within herself an incredible inner strength to stay strong and survive.

Edith Mayer Cord

After the war, Edith struggled to regain a life, to get her education and to reunite with her family. Edith was determined to come to America but before she could she had to catch up on her studies. She not only had to get her education through high school, while learning a new language well enough to understand the school work, but work to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. She struggled, but persevered and gained entrance into the University of Toulouse and graduated with her Baccalaureate in 1949 and a Degree in Letters in 1952.

Upon coming to America she was determined to make a life for herself. Edith came to America alone and her mother followed a year after her arrival in New York. Edith had developed a very strong sense of survival and even though she started out her life at the bottom she ended up a professor and later became a broker and financial advisor. Meeting her and hearing her words were an honor for me. Her book tells her story with brutal honest of how a person can survive horrors in your life, learn to deal with those horrors, and can live a successful and productive life.

There are many books and movies that you can find at the library via Hoopla, Libby, or through Sidewalk Service that relate to Mrs. Cord’s persecution that will resonate today, such as: 

The Diary of Anne Frank
by Frances Goodrich
read by Jason Damron Audiobook

The Holocaust
by Martin Gilbert
Explaining the Holocaust by Mordecai Schreiber eBook

Learn more about the Notorious RBG with the Pratt

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the US Supreme Court Justice whose pioneering advocacy for women’s and civil rights elevated her to “rock-star” status as a cultural and feminist icon, passed away September 18, age 87.

If you’d like to learn more about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s amazing life and legacy, Pratt has many free and accessible resources – from books and ebooks to movies and musicals – to choose from:

Watch RBG (2018), Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s Academy Award®-nominated documentary about Ginsburg’s life and career, on Kanopy or Hoopla.

On the Basis of Sex
Video recording

Watch Mimi Leder’s RBG biopic On the Basis of Sex (2018), which focuses on Ginsburg’s first gender-discrimation court case, using Pratt’s Sidewalk Service or Books-by-Mail services.

RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

Read Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik, which reached the best-seller list the day after its publication in 2015. Notorious RBG is also available as a Hoopla ebook and as an audiobook on CD. Younger audiences can listen to the Notorious RBG Young Readers Edition available through Overdrive.

My Own Words
by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Read Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s My Own Words (2016), a collection of her writings and speeches that focuses on her efforts as a women’s rights advocate.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life
by Jane Sherron De Hart

Read Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life (2018) by Jane Sherron De Hart. Based on 15 years’ worth of interviews and research, this comprehensive biography by feminist historian De Hart explores the experiences that shaped Ginsburg’s enduring passion for justice and gender equality.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
by Debbie Levy

Read I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark (2016), a children’s biography of Ginsburg by Debbie Levy with illustrations by Elizabeth Baddeley.

The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong and You Can Too!
by Bryant Johnson

Read Bryant Johnson’s The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong…and You Can Too! (2017), an illustrated exercise book that shares the routines that kept RBG fit into her 80s. The RBG Workout is also available as an ebook.

Notorious RBG in Song

Listen to the Notorious RBG in Song (2018), a CD album of recordings saluting the life and work of Ginsburg that features soprano Patrice Michaels and pianist Kuang-Hao Huang, as well as compositions by composers Lori Laitman, Stacy Garrup, Vivian Fung and an aria from Derrick Wang’s new comic opera, Scalia/Ginsburg.

Looking for more on RBG? 

Download or stream (mobile devices only) 14 ebooks about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg available from Hoopla.

Read any of the 33 print books about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 


Check out Arts & Crafts Books at the Pratt Library

by Emily Tricco, Fine Arts Department

Sidewalk Service

The Fine Arts and Music Department at the Pratt is full of hidden gems that can help fight off boredom while we’re all staying home. Learning a new skill or hobby can be as easy as placing a hold on any of these books through our Sidewalk Service!

Teach Yourself Visually Sewing
by Debbie Colgrove
Crochet To Calm
by Mandy O’Sullivan
by Betsy Greer
by Lucinda Ganderton Book
The Knitting Book
by Vikki Haffenden
by Donna Kooler

How to Find Kids Content on Hoopla

by Cornelia Becket, Librarian

Hoopla is a fantastic resource available to all customers with a Pratt library card or eCard! Here’s what to expect.

Firstly, download the Hoopla app from the App Store on your device. It’s compatible with multiple operating systems on devices like phones, tablets, and laptops. These are pictures from what it looks like on a tablet.

Notice the “KIDS” check box in the upper left corner? Grown-ups, make sure you check that box on your child’s account, or on your own account if your child is using it, to filter for content that’s appropriate and fun!

Step 1

Slide the bar in the middle top of your screen all the way to the right to browse E-books.  You’ll see a selection of top kids books, including the most popular independent stories, like The Bad Seed, and popular series like Pete the Cat and Wimpy Kid.

Step 2

Scroll over the top middle bar to check out comics! There’s lots of franchise series like Avatar, and critically-acclaimed solo narratives like Primer and New Kid. 

Step 3

Click the “sort” button in the top right corner to find material by popularity, title or other categories.

Step 4

Here’s what the most popular kids book right now, The Bad Seed, looks like when you download and open it to the cover!

Step 5

Here’s what another great selection, Chicken in the Kitchen, looks like when you open up to the inner flap and title page.

Step 6

When you’re done, you can rate the book out of five stars, or check out related titles of interest!

Step 7

Want to try a different genre? Here are some options when you search a genre term like “nonfiction” in the Advanced Search bar up top.

Step 8

If you’re checking out a longer book, here’s what an overview of pages looks like. You can zoom out using the “pages” function to get a better sense. 

Step 9

Don’t forget to log your books on Beanstack to win prizes!


A Different Way of Seeing Super Villain Lex Luthor

by Danielle Markman, Librarian

DC Black Label: Luthor
by Brian Azzarello

Look to the sky! It’s a bird? It’s a plane? No it’s………

Superman has been one of the most iconic comic book heroes, known to many around the world. The last son of Krypton is the spearhead of the Justice League and hero of Metropolis, “the city of tomorrow”. While the citizens of Metropolis and many comic book fans view Clark Kent as Earth’s ultimate defender, Lex Luthor, Superman’s arch nemesis, doesn’t  believe that Superman is who he is praised to be. He sees him as a threat to humanity. So he tries to concoct a plan to get the world to see the man of steel just as the threat he poses to be.

What I love about this story is that it focuses on Lex Luthor more than on Superman. Superman, of course, is an important character but his narrative takes more of a back seat and he is painted in a different light. In this book, you can catch a glimpse of Lex Luthor’s perspective and his motivations to usurp Superman’s hero status. Luthor’s character is a bit more fleshed out than Superman’s. Instead of seeing Luthor as a billionaire megalomaniac, who is a one-note villain madly obsessed with the Kryptonian, we are able to see that Luthor has many faces and takes on many roles.

Luthor has a face that he shows the general public, another for his Lexcorp staff and even another for his more indecent partnerships. He’s intelligent, resourceful, inspiring, charming, ruthless and criminal. Most importantly, we get the opportunity to understand why he questions the ideology behind the caped crusader. Is Superman the hero we need or our worst nightmare? Luthor gives us a very compelling argument.

Writing from the perspective of Luthor, brings to mind great questions that one can ask themselves about what it means to be human, what justice looks like and who are the heroes that protect it. Being that Superman is a fan favorite, Luthor begs the question, why should we view him as our saviour when he could possibly be a threat to humanity? Superman isn’t human. Could he be the threat that we need to be prepared for?

The best thing about this story is the plot. I wish that I could give this novel 6 out of 5 bookmarks because of the plot’s sophistication. It definitely deserves more than one read to truly grasp its depth. The story was written by critically acclaimed author Brian Azzarello, who has also partnered with the same illustrator, Lee Bermejo, the artist who has worked on other well received works with DC, such as Batman: Damned and Joker. Bermejo and Azzarello are truly a dynamic duo.

Lex Luthor is inspiring, seductive, charming and intimidating. Illustrator Lee Bermejo does a really good job with facial expression and makes great  use of  shadow and light to portray a particular emotional element. The artwork helps bring out the complexity of Luthor’s character and helps us see Superman the way Luthor does.Not the most color-rich environment for this work, however, it is perfect for this story. Sometimes the artwork is refreshing, at times it’s dark and gritty. The sharp contrasts help the reader to effectively see the world the way Lex Luthor views it and simultaneously, how the world views Lex Luthor. 

Each page plays off of a single color tone on each turn. This is great because it actually helps with moving the story forward. Most of these pages are either in a tone of blue or red which are Superman’s costume color theme.Speaking of the Justice Leaguer, Bermejo does a great job of painting Superman as Lex sees him, which is very menacing. The art really helped convey Luthor’s sentiment  toward Superman because the hero doesn’t have much dialogue.

Final Thoughts:

Luthor is a very sophisticated read and this was done very well by the wonderful author/illustrator team of Brian Azarrello and Lee Bermejo. I enjoyed that they fleshed out the character of Lex Luthor in a way that really hasn’t been done before. Also, I enjoyed that they presented an argument to help us understand him and his hatred for Superman in a very complex way. Well written heroes deserve well written villains.

You can check out more of the DC Black Label graphic novels through Pratt’s library databases such as Hoopla Digital as well as  any of our physical copies as we are open for Sidewalk Service

Batman: Damned
by Brian Azzarello
Illustrated by Lee Bermejo
by Brian Azzarello
Illustrated by Lee Bermejo
Injustice: Gods Among Us by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Mike Miller, Bruno Redondo

Stay tuned for the next Comics 411 where there will be a readers’ advisory for DC Black Label’s Batman: Damned .

Other cool readers’ advisories for adult graphic novels: Deborah’s Graphics Galore  graphic novel recommendation videos on Pratt’s Facebook page.