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I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler's List Survivor Hardcover – June 1, 2005


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I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler's List Survivor + I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689869800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689869808
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–In a clear, objective narrative, Hillman (called by her German name, Hannelore, in the book) describes her life from April 1942, as a student at a private school in Berlin, until the German surrender in April 1945 that freed her from a detention camp. After her father's death, she left school and was deported with her mother and brothers to Poland. During her three years of captivity she was moved to several labor and concentration camps. Her inclusion on Oskar Schindler's list led, finally, to her deportation to the Brünnlitz camp in Czechoslovakia, where Jewish prisoners were treated humanely. At the fourth detention camp–Budzyn–Hannelore met the man who would become her husband. Her growing love and concern for him; her strong instinct for survival; and her endurance in the face of deprivation, inhumane conditions, and near-starvation provide considerable inspiration. Several photos of family members are included, along with a map that clearly indicates the locations of the camps in which Hannelore was held prisoner. While strong language, descriptions of brutality, a rape scene, and sexual innuendos suggest an audience of mature teens, this readable account of loss and survival during Hitler's Holocaust belongs in most collections.–Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 8-11. There are many YA Holocaust memoirs, but few of them deal with a teenager's survival in the concentration camps. That makes Hillman's affecting account particulalry noteworthy. In 1942 Berlin, Hannelore, 16, bravely volunteers to be deported with her mother and two younger brothers to Poland. Of course, they are soon separated, and during the next three years Hannelore is moved through eight concentration camps. In clipped, first-person narrative, she remembers the worst: crammed cattle cars; backbreaking work from stone quarries to salt mines; beatings; hunger; her own rape; the smell of children's bodies in the crematoria. She tells it as she endured it, quietly relaying the facts without sensationalism or sentimentality. She remembers making friends, one of whom is beaten to death because of a relationship with a German soldier. Hannelore herself falls in love with a young prisoner, Dick. At the end of the book is a photo of the lovers reunited and married; no one else in the family photos survived. The author never fully explains how she and Dick get onto Schindler's list, which saves them from Auschwitz (an explanatory note about the list would have been helpful), but the arbitrariness of the list was as true to the Holocaust survival experience as the loss. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

The book is a well written, tear-jerking love story.
Karen
The story makes the reader feel so lucky in comparison to what these poor people endured.
Ms. B. Pearce
I read this book for a book report for my reading class.
Leonard Charles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Laura Hillman's memoir of a Schindler's list survivor takes the form of a first-person account and tells of one Hannalore, who receives notice her family is being deported to a concentration camp, and who leaves safety to join them so they can be together. When Hannalore meets and falls in love with Polish POW Dick Hillman, they look to Oskar Schindler to survive: an effort which may well prove impossible. Specifically written for young readers, I Will Plant You A Lilac Tree is a gripping first-person account of one woman's struggle to survive Nazi concentration camps.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tamela Mccann TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the first-person account of Hannelore Wolff, a survivor of Nazi death camps and a Jew on Schindler's List. The story chronicles Hannelore's time when she leaves safety to accompany her mother and brothers to first a Jewish ghetto and then to a concentration camp in an effort to keep the family together. Hannelore then spends the next three years living day to day as she survives the disease, death, and horrors of the Holocaust. Her story is by turns one of luck, faith, and perseverance as she ultimately finds herself on Oskar Schindler's famous list and thus brought to the relative safety of his factory. Along the way Hannelore meets and falls in love with her future husband, Dick. Mrs. Hillman gives us a chilling account of a desperate time and helps us all to remember those who should not be forgotten. A tremendous story that will touch you deeply. Highly recommended.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
One day I had nothing to read and I decided to get this book because I heard was great. It kept me on the edge of my seat through the whole book! I finished in less than two days and have read it five more times since.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brittany on April 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
In my Language Arts class,we have to read at least four books on the Holocaust.this unit is super exciting for my class because my teacher is Jewish.she also read us a book called The Terrible Things about how these terrible things one by one came for every creature of the clearing and no one helped anyone.they just said "Just be glad it wasnt us." stories about the Holocaust are terribly sad and moving because it sounds so inhumane that its really hard to believe.and since most authors of the book are the main character,you get the real experience.and finally,before i end this,is that even back in the times of the Roman Empire,Romans had problems with the Jewish people because the "Messiah" was believed to be Jesus and they thought that Jesus would tell them to rebel.so then the emperor Herod The Great ordered for his crucifixtion.(i also learned this because of my Social Studies teacher who also teaches my Lan. Arts class.)
some other books i recomend is: Play to the Angel and The Key is Lost
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ms. B. Pearce on August 29, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is utterly brilliant. It is a true account of a Jewish woman during the holocaust, written by the survivor herself. It is fascinating all the way through. Be prepared for tears. This book is a keeper and I feel blessed to have found such a terrific account of such a horrible moment in history. The story makes the reader feel so lucky in comparison to what these poor people endured.
The book also has some pictures which really make you feel that you know the author personally. Well-written and easy to lose yourself in.
10/10.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rhonda V. on March 19, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree" is a memoir of a Holocaust survivor who had some extremely trying times. It amazed me that Hannelore Wolfe, the main character, was so brave after all she went through. She was sent to multiple labor camps and each time they got more gruesome. The first half of the book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. But, the second half got somewhat repetitive, so I had a hard time focusing on the book. I found myself to be a little bored as I got farther into the book. Not because Hannelore's troubles were boring, but because everything that happened seemed to be similar. It's mildly depressing at points and, I felt, hard to get in the mood to read it. Although, overall, I learned many things that I didn't know before reading it and would recommend it to readers interested in the Holocaust!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Church on January 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a must read for any high school or middle schooler learning about the Holocaust. Hannelore is a strong young woman who survives against all odds. I had a hard time putting it down until the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beanboy on July 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found this book listed in my library's database under Holocaust. The librarian told me that it was in the 'teen' section and I wasn't going to read it because it was a rather short book and I thought it would be for kids. However, I'm glad I did check it out because it's one of the most moving autobiographical accounts of the Holocaust to date and I've read quite a few. How she made it through is a testament to the human will to survive. We are so lucky to have these firsthand accounts of what people actually went through. I can't say enough about this book! Don't make the mistake and pass it up because this book is for ALL age groups. Also you might want to check out "I Was a Doctor in Auschwitz" by Gisella Perl and "Tomorrow Will Be Better" by Zdena Kapral. Two very good books about the Holocaust.
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