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Four Perfect Pebbles

Updated: May 8, 2023

Lila Perl and Marion Blumental Lazan

American Library Association Notable Book

Published 1996, Greenwillow Books 978-0-06-248996-8


“Four perfect pebbles . . . one for each of us. … If she could find four pebbles of almost exactly the same size and shape, it meant that her family could remain whole. … Over and over Marion had collected such pebbles in groups of four. A foolish pastime? A superstition? Perhaps. But the sets of pebbles were her lucky charms, and they gave her purpose.”



After years of fleeing from Nazi persecution, the Blumenthal family arrived in Bergen-Belsen, the same camp that saw the end of Anne Frank. Just before liberation, they were put on a train with no explanation as to where. Days later, Bergen-Belsen was liberated by the British. Four Perfect Pebbles tells the story of one family struggling to survive. First in Nazi Germany, then Holland, then from camp to camp. Eventually, the train was liberated by the Russians. Poignantly phrased, the narrative embraces the human spirit and the determination to survive. Photographs of the family and documents make the story tangible; one is left lamenting the trials suffered and embracing the joy of survival.


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