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The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia Paperback – May 12, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
In 1995, I was able to speak with Esther on the phone, and I have never forgotten that wonderful conversation. Talking with her (she still has a very noticable accent) was as if the book itself came to life, because I realized I was actually visiting with the woman who was the couragous child in the book. Esther's writing encouraged me to be thankful, to be grateful, to be kind, and to never give up. I majored in journalism in college, and though I have never had such an extreme happening in my lifetime, I hope to eventually put down in words something that will touch other's lives as Esther Hautzig touched mine.
However, Hitler was not the only one during this time committing atrocities which killed millions of people. The Soviets were guilty of this as well, though this is not as well known to Americans.
This is the story of a young girl who is a victim of the Soviet forced-labor camps. Her family did nothing wrong, but with the Russian invasion of Poland, her parents and grandparents were considered "capitalists" and therefore deported to Siberia.
This book is very well written. The characters are very well deveoped, which is especially important since this book is autobiographical. Reading this gives a real sense of how far out in the middle of nowhere these people were. There is the beauty of this pristine land versus the terror which haunts the people who have been sent here, as well as the true desolation of the place. In time, Esther, who is 15 by the end of the book, really feels that this is the place her life is, rather than Poland, where she lived before, even though this is the place of her imprisonment. Hautzig also does a good job of describing the constant suffering and scrabbling for humanity that these people went through as political prisoners. It was a hopeless situation, but the one thing that they could least give up was hope.
This is one of the very few children's (or young adult) books that does focus on what was happening in the Soviet Union during this time. There are many kids books which focus on the Germans and the Holocaust, but that was only part of the story, and to forget the rest of these people who suffered and died because of the same sort of tyranny is an affront to them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fantastic story. It is well written and it is true! My 12 year old boy read it and loved it and I couldn't put it down. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Green Machine
I got this book to read for my book club. I had never heard of it before. It was really good. I was interested especially in the history of Russia and the Jewish people there... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I just finished reading this book to my children, and we all loved it! Courageous tale of a family taken into exile and moved to Siberia.Published 6 months ago by Anna Melonakos
How the young girl adapted to life in those harsh conditions better than a grown person.Published 11 months ago by Della Michel
I read this book for the first time when I was nine years old, and it quickly became my favorite. Now at nearly 49 years old, I treated myself to a copy, since mine was lost... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
I had an old copy of The Endless Steppe, which was well worn from being read and re-read in my youth. Read morePublished 15 months ago by MARY V CLARK