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September 2019

The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero

Staff report


Prolific children’s book author, illustrator and storyteller, Amalia Hoffman has just published a very inspiring biography for ages 9-12 about the Italian cycling champion, Gino Bartali who risked his life during the Holocaust and smuggled forged identification cards, hidden in his bike, so that Italian Jews could escape to safety. It is a story about how one person can make a difference.


“I am excited to say that my new title, The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero is launching on August 1st from Capstone Publishing/Capstone Editions,   illustrated by the award winning Italian illustrator, Chiara Fedele,” the Mamaroneck resident says.  “Besides being an exciting story about a poor and sickly boy who struggled to become one of the greatest champions in the world and a two-time winner of the Tour de France, it is also a story about how one person could make a difference in fighting against antisemitism, racism, discrimination and prejudice.”


Bartali, won the Tour de France in 1938 and 1948.He was honored in 2013 as ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ by Yad Vashem.


Hoffman grew up in Jerusalem, Israel, and then moved to Westchester. A graduate of Pratt Institute and NYU, she has written and illustrated many books including Dreidel Day, All Colors, The Klezmer Bunch, Purim Goodies, Astro Pea and  Rose Bud, an oversized book with pop up elements for Israel’s children’s theatre, The Train.


The award winning author takes pleasure in meeting the readers of her books and finds that her greatest reward in writing an illustrated picture book, is that she loves to connect with young people. She frequently presents her books to school groups, libraries and book stores.


She is a member of SCBWI and the Children’s Books Illustrator Guild and a teaching artist affiliated with ArtsWestchester.


 “I have a great program to go along with this book for children ages 8-12 which includes picture viewing from the photograph collection of Gino Bartali’s granddaughter,” Hoffman explains.


She will be presenting The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero, a story of heroism and wartime heroics, in Westchester, on September 12 at Andersons Book Store, 96 Chatsworth Avenue, Larchmont and on September 19th at the Pelham Public Library, 530 Colonial Avenue, Pelham. both at 3:30pm.