Blending one of the 20th century’s most horrific events with a project that aims to honor the memories of victims, North Woodmere resident Ella Schwartz wrote her upcoming book “Violin of Hope,” recounting the story of a violin that travels through time from the Holocaust to the present.
Schwartz, 48, based her tale on the Violins of Hope collection, A Tell Aviv-based collection owned by the father and son team of Amon and Avshalom Weinstein, who are both violin makers and find Holocaust-era string instruments, restore them and then they are played by musicians in concerts around the world.
“I’m the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and for a very long time, I wanted to write a story to honor their memory,” Schwartz said. “People talk about the Holocaust as an awful experience but I want students to know that there is hope beyond the tragic story. The story is a story about family and legacy.”
The book will be published by Lerner Publishing and is scheduled for release next year.
It will be the sixth book published by Schwartz, who has been writing professionally for the past eight years. She writes nonfiction books for children, books focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and historically themed books.
Schwartz works in cyber security for the federal government, which is what inspired her to write her first book “Can You Crack the Code?” She started working in the field in 2000 and the book tells the story of cyber security, cryptography, secret agents, spies and cracking codes.
“I’ve been writing as a hobby for a very long time, and someone said to me, ‘Why don’t you write about what you do for your job?” Schwartz said. “I said, ‘no one would ever want to read what I do for my job’, but it turns out people did, and it’s done well.”
Schwartz said writing about STEM to inspire the next generation of thinkers and scientists, especially young girls is dear to her heart. Her most recent book which was released in February “Is It Okay to Pee in the Ocean?” was the second book in a series of books published by Bloomsbury Publishing and details the human impact on the oceans, protecting the ecosystem, and what kids can do to be planet protectors.
“I wrote that book so that students and readers can appreciate that they can be agents of change,” she said. “It’s not up to just the grown-ups, kids can do it as well.”
Schwartz said her favorite project is the book “Her Name Was Mary Katherine” which was published this past January and tells the true story of Mary Katherine Goddard, the only woman whose name is on the Declaration of Independence.
“When I learned of her existence, I thought there was no woman’s name on the Declaration of Independence and it turns out it’s been there all this time,” Schwartz said. “No one’s ever talked about her and that angered me. I think her story deserved to be told.”
Schwartz was recently made aware that the book won the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Excellence in American History Book Award.
“What I want people to know is that history isn’t always what we’re taught in school and what we remember in history is very selective and oftentimes, not fair,” she said. “Somebody decided that she wasn’t worth remembering, and worth writing in the history books. I hope children always learn to question and dig deep and find the story.”
Schwartz’s books can be found on Amazon, Goodreads and anywhere books are sold.