Monday, December 10, 2007
Work In Progress: “T4” Book Jacket
T4, to be published by Houghton Mifflin, is a middle grade holocaust novel in verse by Ann Clare LeZotte.
T4 was the name given the Nazi plan to exterminate Germany’s mentally and physically disabled population. Derived from the address of its headquarters in Berlin, Tiergartenstrasse 4, the policy ended in 1941, but not before 270,000 people had been murdered and another 400,000 sterilized.
The book tells the story of Paula Becker, thirteen year-old German girl. Paula is deaf, and therefore a target of the T4 policy. Fleeing the Nazis, Paula spends two tense years in hiding before being reunited with her family.
The brief called for a cover that evoked history, without being depressing. Creative Director Sheila Smallwood suggested a subdued but appealing image of Paula. The brevity of the title gave me the opportunity for a type treatment that mimicked the Nazi swastika.
Above are the sketches presented on the left. On the right, are some photos used for reference and inspiration taken with my cell phone at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage exhibition, Deadly Medicine: Creating The Master Race.