The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak (Hardcover)

The Story of Janusz Korczak

By Tomek Bogacki

Farrar Straus Giroux, 9780374341367, 40pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2009



In 1912, a well-known doctor and writer named Janusz Korczak designed an extraordinary orphanage for Jewish children in Warsaw, Poland. Believing that children were capable of governing themselves, he encouraged the orphans to elect a parliament, run a court, and put out their own weekly newspaper. Even when Korczak was forced to move the orphanage into the Warsaw Ghetto after Hitler's rise to power, and couldn't afford to buy food and medicine for his charges, he never lost sight of his ideals. Fully committed to giving his children as much love as possible during a terrifying time, Korczak refused to abandon them.

In his most beautiful and heartfelt book to date, with evocative acrylic illustrations and spare, poignant prose, Tomek Bogacki tells the story of a courageous man who, during one of the grimmest moments in world history, dedicated his life's work and ultimately his life itself to children.

About the Author

TOMEK BOGACKI grew up in Poland. He has written and/or illustrated over a dozen books for children, including Five Creatures by Emily Jenkins, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book. He lives in Long Island City, New York.

Praise For The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak

2009 National Jewish Book Award Finalist in the category of Illustrated Children’s Books

“The endpapers offer a study in contrast, the first showing Warsaw before the war, full of red rooftops and tall trees, while the closing spread shows Warsaw after the war, awash with shadowy silvers and grays. An author’s note describes how Boagacki, himself Polish-born, grew up hearing the stories of Korczak.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Inspiring is a rare word for a realistic Holocaust title, but it is true of this picture-book biography.”Booklist 

“For anyone teaching about the Holocaust, this moving portrait of humanitarian Janusz Korczak is worth a look.”  Instructor


“The Best Jewish Picture Books of 2009." "…this is a gorgeous, gently-told book that every Jewish kid should eventually read.”  —Tablet


“A passionate picture-book biography of the Holocaust-era children’s advocate and doctor.”

                                                          —Kirkus Reviews