The Harmonica by Tony Johnston

The Harmonica by Tony Johnston

The harmonica is a true story about a boy from Poland who survived life in a concentration camp during the Second World War.

Henryk’s father taught him harmonica at home.

I played the harmonica while my parents danced. In our dream we believed the world to be good.

One day Henryk’s family were arrested by Nazi soldiers. They were separated and Henryk never saw his parents again.

I played for them – with all my heart

You can find out how Henryk survived the holocaust and how important the harmonica was in keeping him alive; how it provided him, and other prisoners, with hope.

The Harmonica is suitable for Key Stage 2 children, with adult supervision. We recommend it is read with a grown up who can explain the experiences of Jewish families in Europe during the Second World War.

The Harmonica is published by Charlesbridge (ISBN 978-1-57091-489-8) and can be ordered through The fabulous illustrations are by Ron Mazellan.

3 thoughts on “The Harmonica by Tony Johnston

  • March 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    That sounds like a great book to read i would love to read it!I really enjoy read that little bit about it

  • March 4, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Glad you like the post. It’s a powerful book – and based on a true story. Henryk eventually moved to the USA where he told children about his life and played them is harmonica music. He passed away in 2001.

  • November 18, 2011 at 1:40 am

    I read the book and it was awsome! read it if you have time!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *