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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Jew Running from War
Greater than Angels is a suspenseful and inspiring book about a Jewish girl's survival during World War II and about resistance to the war. When Nazis send Anna, grandma Oma, her mom, and her Aunt Mina to a refugee camp in France, Anna's adventure begins. When Anna and other children get taken to live at a Swiss Red Cross house, Hannah and her friend's brother Rudi...
Published on June 10, 2004

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ...
I didnt really like this book cuz like it was so confusing, it kept on going back and forth between flashbacks, and its not very intresting either. LOL Normally i would'nt even read a historical fiction novel but like we had to cuz we were doing this historical fiction thing in our class...Anyways I thought this book was pretty bad, but if you like historical fiction then...
Published on February 5, 2006


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Jew Running from War, June 10, 2004
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Greater Than Angels (Mass Market Paperback)
Greater than Angels is a suspenseful and inspiring book about a Jewish girl's survival during World War II and about resistance to the war. When Nazis send Anna, grandma Oma, her mom, and her Aunt Mina to a refugee camp in France, Anna's adventure begins. When Anna and other children get taken to live at a Swiss Red Cross house, Hannah and her friend's brother Rudi start some kind of resistance by handing out false papers for people that want to get out of France. Even though they are protected by the Red Cross, they still have to hide from Nazis because as the war gets more serious the Nazis want to collect Jews put them in concentration camps.
I love the way that this book is written because when you think everything is all right, something else happens. This book is such a thriller to read, I couldn't put it down! It is written in first person, so I always knew Anna's feeling about what was happening. It really gave me a different view of the war because this book didn't take place in a concentration camp.
My favorite part was when the kids would have conversations about God. I like to know all of the different perspectives on God. Some were saying, "If there is a God, why is this happening?" I bet that's what a lot of the Jews thought. However, that is not Anna's view. She basically says, "We all have the power to do good and evil; the people doing this to us have chosen evil." That is kind of how I feel about God, too, so I can relate to how Anna feels. This tells me that Anna is smart and devoted to God.
Mostly, this was a very good book. I liked reading about her experiences in the refuge camp, and it was exciting when they were hiding from the Germans, but sometimes I thought it was a little unrealistic, or slow. I thought there should have been a little more trouble or drama just to add to the problems many Jews faced during WWII. They get out of trouble all too easily for me to believe. Did all Jews get away form the Germans that easily? I don't think so, and that is why I think it should have more drama in places so that the book could relate more to all Jews hiding from the Germans.
I have read a few books about Jews during World War II, and I'm not saying this was the best, but it gave me a new perspective on the war. Mostly books about WWII are how the Jews suffered in concentration camps. This book show that not all people hated the Jews, and that many were actually doing something to help the Jews hide. It also teaches the importance of resistance, and how just by doing small things many Jews were saved from going to a concentration.
This relates to what I think one of the main themes is in this book: Helping is helping, no mater how much you think you helped. Rudi and Anna were passing out false papers, and it may seem that that wouldn't help much, but they did help a lot of people escape to safe places. This prevented them from going to a concentration camp, which was a huge deal. So, read this book, and relate it to your own life. Doing small acts of kindness to help can make a huge difference to somebody.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of a young girl, November 24, 2003
By 
Katie (Madison, Ohio) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Greater Than Angels (Hardcover)
When a young girl named Anna is shipped off to a concentration camp with her mother, aunt, and grandma she makes things seem so much better than they really are with her jokes and songs.She dreams about plays and concerts not only to her own satisfaction, but also to calm others. Along the way she makes friends, and creates a special relationship with her friend Klara's older brother Rudi. Anna also helps Rudi deliver fake papers to other people in danger to escape the Nazies. This book was one of the best, most suspenseful books I've ever read. I think anyone who has to do a project on a holocaust, should read this book. Even if you dont have a project to do, you should read it anyway. Its an easy read and easy to follow so if your looking for a short, easy book read this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet of Carol Matas!!, November 12, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Greater Than Angels (Hardcover)
This book has been the best one I have read by Carol Matas. Her story touched my heart deeply, and I will soon pick up the book again and re-read it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greater than Angels, November 25, 2001
By 
This review is from: Greater Than Angels (Mass Market Paperback)
This book, Greater than Angels, is a very good book. It think it shows you what really happened during the Holocaust. It is very cruel that Anna, her friends and family were taken away to camps just because they were Jewish. This book is sad and you never know what will happen next. Anna also makes the book funny because of the jokes that she makes to try to make everyone laugh. You never know if they are going to get caught by the Nazis or if the will survive horrible conditions that they go through. I liked the ending because it was surprising in a way but it was also kind of sad. I reccomend this book to anyone, even if you are not really interested in the Holocaust.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greater Than Angels, December 11, 2002
This review is from: Greater Than Angels (Mass Market Paperback)
Greater Than Angels is a great book.It takes place during the fall of 1940.Anna Hirsch and her family and friends are Jews and they get deported from Germany to France by the Nazis.They are put in a refugee camp in Gurs.Anna and other younger children are aranged to go to Le Chambon.Rudi and Klara which are two of Anna friends live with her at a Swiss Red Cross home.Rudi gets it arraged for Klara and Anna to go to Switzerland .When Anna and Klara are getting on the train.Anna and Rudi realize they have feelings for each other.This is a powerful book that is very sad but also very funny.I hope you like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courageous Rescuers, February 9, 2007
By 
A. Luciano (Lowell, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Greater Than Angels (Mass Market Paperback)
Anna is a Jewish teen living in Germany when the Nazis start rounding up Jews and killing them. Anna and her mother, aunt, and grandmother are loaded into a train with many of their neighbors and brought to France, a place where Nazis are not yet in control. When they get off the train, though, they are put into a refugee camp with conditions nearly as bad as the German concentration camps. The French people see them as dangerous because they are Germans, even though the German Nazis are trying to exterminate them. When the Nazis start moving toward France and it begins to look like they might be in danger where they are, Anna and several other young people are sent to live in the French town of Le Chambon, where there are people who will protect them. In Le Chambon, they are able to go to school, to work, and to study the Jewish religion. Anna helps another boy from her town, Rudi, to forge papers so people can leave the country before the Nazis come. Even when the Nazis invade, the people of Le Chambon continue to hide the Jews who are refugees there. They take these people into their homes and find hiding places for them, and no one in town tells the Nazis where the Jews are. Still, there are Nazi raids more and more often, putting Anna and her friends into more and more danger. Can they escape to Switzerland while there's still time?

This story is based on truth--the town of Le Chambon really did exist in France, and during the Holocaust the people there kept Jews safe in their homes. I liked reading this book and knowing that there were good people who were willing to put their own lives at risk in such a dangerous time in order to save the lives of others.

A weak point of the story is the romance. I could see it coming right from the beginning, and it was very contrived. The story would have been just as strong without this element.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not A Good Time, November 10, 2003
By 
This review is from: Greater Than Angels (Mass Market Paperback)
This book was about a Jewish family that got kicked out of there home by Hitler. They were sent to a concentration camp in France. The main girl, Anna, who is the daughter of the family that got sent off, thought that it wouldn't be too bad since it was France. She thought that it would be pretty nice. When she got there she knew that she was wrong. There were many people there and the men and women were separated. Anna, her family, or anyone else there didn't get their belongings for awhile. When they got their bags they were ruined. They were covered with mud and everything was trashed.
Everyone there was treated pretty badly. They slept on straw and if you didn't get straw then you slept on the floor. After awhile, some people were able to leave. Anna was one of those people. It was mainly kids that left. Anna's mother stayed because she was thinking of the others that stayed back, also. Anna's aunt also stayed because she wanted to stay with Anna's mother. Anna and the others were sent off. They got to go to school and didn't sleep on the floor.
After almost a year Anna went back to see her mother and family. Anna's mother was sick and wasn't looking very well. Anna went back to visit many times. Then, her mother, aunt and everyone else at that camp was sent back to Germany. Anna knew that she would never see her family again. Everyone at that camp also knew they weren't coming back. That was the last time Anna seen them in that camp. Anna moved escaped to Switzerland and was free, after awhile.
I really loved this book. It's so sad what had happened during the holocaust. I think everyone should read this book. Even if they don't know anything about the holocaust, they should still read this book because it is so good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greater Than Angels, November 29, 2003
By 
Creamy Supreme (Madison, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Greater Than Angels (Mass Market Paperback)
Greater Than Angels is about a girl named Anna Hirsch. It is about how she and her family get sent to a refugee camp. During their time in the camp Anna tries to get everyone involved in things. She has plays and music going on so people don't think about what is happening to them. During her stay at this refugee camp her grandmother dies. This becomes very hard on Anna because her grandmother was the only person who understood her passion to act. After a couple years Anna and a couple other kids in the camp get sent to Le Chambon. They go to Le Chambon for protection and to start a normal life. While she is staying there she goes to visit her mother. She finds out that her mother is getting shipped to a death camp and she will never see her again. When she goes back to Le Chambon she tries to tell her friends about their families but they don't understand very well. The Nazis started to invade Le Chambon after a couple years of being there. The kids become scared but Anna still stays strong for everyone. In the end Anna finds her own freedom.
Greather Than Angels is a very good book. Carol Matas does a great job at describing what happened during the Holocaust, and how the people handled it. Creating Anna's sense of humor made the book very worthwhile. The way she writes the characters shows that throughout the Holocaust the Jews still had hope of being free. The book is very sad but also very funny. I loved the way she made Anna, after everything she went through, still be herself and that nothing changed her. The way she handles herself whenever she hears bad news is very good. I recommend that everyone read this book because it is very emotional, and I like it very much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book I'll Never Forget, September 17, 2001
By 
Melissa (St.Louis, Missouri) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Greater Than Angels (Hardcover)
When i was down reading this book i wished for one that contuned about this book. I can't get out of my mind about the pain and suffering that Anna went through.She was so great! She helped Kala and her mother and her anut and oma while she could.Also helped deliver fake ids to people in Le Chambon. Also Rudi was great too.I loved at the end when Anna and Rudi got together.I thought that the love Rudi gave to Anna helped Anna get throug the war and get over the border line to Swizzerland. I love this book and hope that they will come out with another one just like this!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A suspenceful book about courage, June 10, 2004
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Greater Than Angels (Mass Market Paperback)
Greater than Angels was a suspenseful, yet quick book about a young girl named Anna and her story during World War II. She lives a normal life in Germany until her she, mom, her aunt, her grandma, and many other Jewish families are sent to France to a small camp called Gurs. She tries to brighten people's lives while they're in the camp and it works for most of them, except her mother. Her mother never understands how her daughter can behave this way at such a terrible time in her life. Completing an old, torn friendship with her friend Klara is one of her large missions in this story, but even larger, is to find courage in all of her journeys and terrible experiences. After staying for a couple months in Gurs, she, and some other children are invited to stay in Le Chambon at the Red Cross Home. To help Rudi, Klara's brother, and to keep herself occupied at night, she delivered fake papers to many families in the city. This brought her closer to a lot of the families in Le Chambon and closer to Rudi. She visits her family back in Gurs to see how they are doing, while Rudi tries to find a sager place for the children staying at the Red Cross Home.
My favorite part of this story was when Anna sang and danced at the concerts that the people at Gurs put together. She kept herself entertained with the concerts and could forget the struggles she was facing at the camp. Everyone would cheer and clap and finally her mother saw the true character in Anna. She accepted her daughter for who she was and her special talents. I also liked when she described her experience hiding in the woodpile with Klara while the German's searched the house she was staying at. The author put a lot of detail into this and described Anna's feelings very well. "My heart is pounding; I'm in a cold sweat. I can here Klara's breath: short, panicky." I think that this sentence was simple yet very affective during this part of the story.
One thing that I noticed while I was reading the book, was that the author writes the story in both past tense and present tense. When she is telling about hiding in the woodpile throughout the book, it is in present tense, but when she is talking about Gurs and Le Chambon the story is in past tense. This made the book very confusing for me and often got on my nerves. I did like how the author didn't spend a lot of time talking about scenes in the story that weren't too important, though
I think the main message in this book is to always have courage. A theme that I would put with this book is "Even though life can be extremely confusing and surprising at times, you should always make the best of it." Anna lives out this saying by telling jokes and trying to forget about the sad and frustrating times in her life. She performs concerts and sings to try and loosen things up. I think everyone should try to be more like Anna and how she lives life in this book.
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Greater Than Angels
Greater Than Angels by Carol Matas (Mass Market Paperback - November 1, 1999)
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