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The Island on Bird Street Paperback – January 20, 1992

41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"More than just a valuable addition to Holocaust literature . . . it should garner a wide audience, which is exactly what its spirited portrait of hope and dauntless courage deserves." Booklist, ALA

Language Notes

Text: English, Hebrew (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (January 20, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395616239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395616239
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Uri Orlev was born in Warsaw in 1931. In 1996, Uri Orlev received the the highest international recognition given to an author of children's books. He now lives in Jerusalem.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By pegalou on July 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I saw the movie "The Island on Bird Street" with my son and husband recently. It was such a touching film that we saw it again. I cried and will never forget the film. It should get an Academy award. After we saw the film, I ordered the book from Amazon because I wanted to know more about what happened to Alex. The first part of the book moves a little slow, but it needs to to describe all the characters and what is happening. The last half of the book is so moving I couldn't put the book down. I think it would be a great book for all kids to read in school when they are studying about WWII. But even without the historical backdrop, it is a powerful book showing how a young boy can overcome such awful odds and still survive. Alex struggles to survive by finding food in the ghetto with his pet mouse, Snow, and by making a hidden home in the ghetto. His lonliness is overcome by reading and meeting a few friends a long the way. He waits for months for his father to return not knowing if his father is alive or not. His faith that his father will come back for him sustains him. I think the book gives hope that we can overcome great adversity with faith and resourcefulness. I would definitely recommend the book and movie.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lauren B. on April 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book that really brings you into the mind of a Jewish child living during the Holocaust. It tells the story of an 11 year old boy named Alex who lives with his father in the Warsaw Ghetto.
One horrible day, Alex's father leaves and Alex is forced to live in a bombed out house on 78 Bird Street. There he must learn how to survive in the always threatening conditions. Until his father returns, Alex must always be on alert. The main character's bravery and courage is inspiring to all who read this book. At times it could be a bit dull, but over all this book was wonderful. Anyone who loves to sit down with a good book should read The Island on Bird Street.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I happened upon this book in our school library. It is an easy and incredible read. Growing up we have heard of the horrors but this book puts a real human spin on it all. The young boy learns independance and resourcefullness in an amazing short amount of time. Though there is tragedy it has a happy ending. Its kind of a sad, feel good story for just about 10years old and up.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kcorn TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Highly recommended and little-known book of the war and Holocaust years told from a child's perspective. Left alone in the ghetto, a young boy struggles to survive, showing enormous courage, resilience and willpower. I also recommend the video if and when you can get a copy (some video stores have previewed copies on sale or Amazon's zhops and auctions occasionally have some) as it is an incredibly well-acted and moving story. The book and video do have some differences but would make a nice adition to any collection of Jewish literature and/or movies. I'd recommend the book for a teenage reader or for a Jewish reading group. Best for more mature readers able to handle difficult, complex topics.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I think the Island on Bird Street was a good book. It tied in with the Holocaust, and World War Two. The book was about a boy named Alex whose mother and father were both taken by the Germans, Alex's father told him to hide out and wait for him in a bombed out house even if it took years Alex was to wait for him. Alex was to originally wait in a bunker under the house, but one night he heard a noise, so he moved to the top floor using a rope ladder that he cleverly made himself. The next day a truck pulled up in front of the house and police officers went into his bunker to look around. They made a hole in the ground and there was a real bunker under his. The police hauled out all of the people. Alex thought he was lucky for moving out. I think the book was very interesting. I couldn't guess what was going to come next in the book. It was a thriller. You felt like you were there with Alex. When someone was close to finding him, your heart would start pounding. I suggest the book to anyone who likes to read about adventures.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAME on June 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This story of struggle for survival in the Warsaw Ghetto does not dwell on the horrors and detail the sufferings of the Ghetto. Instead it presents a kind of Robinson Crusoe-like adventure tale in which young Alex, his mother having died, and his father having been taken away, must learn to fend for himself. He goes through a series of adventures in which his mettle is tested, and in the end the longed- for reunion with his father takes place.
The resourcefulness and resilience of the major character are exemplary.
It is possible to question the authenticity of having such a buoyant spirit in such difficult circumstances. But the work is well told, and credible on that level.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Alex awoke to find his dad sitting on the floor facing the front door with a gun in his hands. Alex knew his dad was going threw some tough times because Alex's mom went to a different ghetto to visit some friends and hasn't came back for a whole week. Alex went over to his dad to tell his dad to go to sleep but once he saw the pistol he asked his dad if he is going to shoot the Germans and his dad replied "if I must I will."
I really liked this book. It was very interesting because it explained how Jewish people were treated during the Holocaust and how they had to hide and risk the things they loved. It had parts that were sad and other parts that made you feel glad. It also showed what the Germans did to the Jewish people, like making them sleep in bunks together with three or more people, and treated them with disrespect by breaking into people's houses and taking them away.
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