Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key

by

Tatiana De Rosnay

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Sarah’s Key can help.

The Yellow Star

Like other Jewish families living during the Holocaust, Sarah Starzynski and her parents are forced to wear yellow stars on their clothing. (At four years old Michel is too young to wear a star.) Initially…

read analysis of The Yellow Star

The Key

On the night of the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, Sarah locks Michel into the secret cupboard in their bedroom to hide him from the French police. Not understanding the stakes of the roundup, Sarah vows to…

read analysis of The Key

Hands

As one might expect, hands and handholding represent intimacy and connection in Sarah’s Key. Although the symbolism here is simple, this image is moving given the intense loneliness and longing for connection that both…

read analysis of Hands

Dust

Dust pervades the novel. Sarah and her parents spend days imprisoned in the stinking heat of the Vélodrome d’Hiver, where “dry, feathery dust” threatens to choke Sarah. After being transported out of Paris to Beaune-la-Rolande…

read analysis of Dust