Summary of The Assignment:
SENIOR YEAR. When an assignment given by a favorite teacher instructs a group of students to argue for the Final Solution, a euphemism used to describe the Nazi plan for the genocide of the Jewish people, Logan March and Cade Crawford are horrified. Their teacher cannot seriously expect anyone to complete an assignment that fuels intolerance and discrimination. Logan and Cade decide they must take a stand.
As the school administration addressed the teens’ refusal to participate in the appalling debate, the student body, their parents, and the larger community are forced to face the issue as well. The situation explodes, and acrimony and anger result. What does it take for tolerance, justice, and love to prevail?
How The Assignment can be utilized in the classroom:
This award-winning novel is unique in how it connects the Holocaust to society today. It can be read as complimentary material to your Holocaust education as it ties in to the Wannsee Conference and Germany’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” Not only does it touch on this history, The Assignment encourages students to think about social responsibility in their own lives. The novel explores the perspectives of individuals with differing opinions and looks at how discomfort and bullying, but also widespread support and encouragement, can foster when you go against the grain. The Assignment teaches students one of the primary lessons we can learn from the Holocaust- the power of one’s voice and the importance of standing up for what is right.
The novel is excellent for a wide range of reading skill levels, we recommend the novel for grades 8 and above. The book is also available in audiobook format for anyone who may need or prefer it.
“With short chapters, this novel is excellent for a wide range of reading skill levels, including reluctant readers. The book is also available in audiobook format for anyone who may need it. There are multiple narrators, illuminating the events in the story and their impact on the students, the school, the community, and even globally. The main characters are written in first person, providing intimate insight into their experience. Secondary characters are in third person, which creates a little distance while revealing how those characters are affected by what transpires. Text messages, video chats, headlines, articles, comment sections, and Twitter and Instagram posts are also included, making this a fascinating, timely window and mirror for readers.”
Teachers can requests copies of the book, The Assignment by award winning author and educator Liza Wiemer for their classroom. They may also request the option to add a free discussion with Liza.
To request books and inquire about a speaker please fill out the form here.
Accompanying curriculum guide will be made available to schools requesting copies.
If you are interested in donating to this program you can send a check to HERC or contact Judy O’Hara at JudyO@MilwaukeeJewish.org
Reviews and praise:
Milwaukee Magazine – Review and interview
“The Assignment explores what happens when a classroom lesson becomes indefensible” – Wisconsin State Journal
“This fast-paced, compelling story will inspire readers to stick to their principles and fight for what’s right. A timely and necessary read.” —Kip Wilson, author of White Rose
“… The Assignment… is one of the most interesting, powerful books I’ve read dealing with academic freedom. My bet is that spontaneous discussion will erupt after students read it.”
—Pat Scales, School Library Journal’s Freedom to Read
“Riveting, completely realistic, and powerful. Readers won’t be able to resist putting themselves in the students’ shoes and thinking about when and where they themselves would draw the line, or if they would dare confront power at all.” —Nancy Werlin, New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award Finalist for The Rules of Survival
“. . . this fast paced novel will keep readers thoroughly engaged. An important plot-driven story about two teens who stand up for what’s right in the face of adversity.” —Kirkus Reviews
About Liza Wiemer
Liza Wiemer is an award-winning educator with over twenty years of teaching experience. Her second young adult novel, The Assignment, published by Delacorte Press, Penguin Random House, has received multiple honors, including the Sydney Taylor Notable Award. In addition, Liza has had two adult nonfiction books and another young adult novel published as well as several short stories included in the New York Times bestselling Small Miracles series. A graduate of UW-Madison, Liza has two married sons and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, Jim. Website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook