Teens help Holocaust survivor tell his life story

Sisters adapt book for 10- to 12-year-olds

By Mark Abramson / Daily News Staff Writer
When Mendel “Manny” Steinberg wanted to present to children a PG version of his book “Outcry” about how he survived a concentration camp during the Holocaust, he turned to Menlo Park teenagers Bailey and Laura Griscom.

Bailey, 17, wrote Steinberg’s story in a way that children could understand without getting frightened. She has also studied the Holocaust by reading other books about the subject. The book is titled “The Boy Named 27091,” in reference to the number the Nazis tattooed on Steinberg. It is aimed at children ages 10-12.

Bailey’s sister, Laura, 16, illustrated the book. It was first released in November, when the Griscoms and Steinberg attended a book-launching party in Los Angeles.

“We wanted kids to be able to get the idea that obviously it was a terrible time in history … but we didn’t want to make it so they would go to sleep at night and have terrible nightmares,” Laura said. “For me it was fairly difficult to draw pictures of the Holocaust and people in concentration camps and not have dead bodies.”

Laura said she tried to tell the story in the illustrations by emphasizing the agony in the characters’ facial expressions. As a student at the Idyllwild Arts Academy, she has done several similar works.