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Daniel's Story Paperback – April 1, 1993
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8-- Daniel, 14 in 1941, describes first his family's sense of belonging in Germany and their refusal to flee their country despite the initial instances of anti-Semitism they experience. By the time the family is ready to acknowledge the seriousness of their situation, no country is willing to accept them. They are first deported from Frankfurt to the Lodz ghetto in Poland; from Lodz they are sent to Auschwitz, and finally, Daniel and his father are marched to Buchenwald. They are the only two members of the family who survive, and are liberated by the Americans. Daniel tells his story through the "pictures" he has; at first real photographs, and then the images in his head. He is a courageous, sensitive, heroic individual who personalizes the events of the Holocaust. His voice rings true; he is portrayed as an extraordinary youth, but these were times that demanded an exceptional response to increase the likelihood of survival. --Susan Kaminow, Arlington County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.
From Kirkus Reviews
After witnessing the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany, Daniel is suddenly transported, at age 14, from his comfortable life in Frankfurt to a Polish ghetto, then to Auschwitz and Buchenwald--losing most of his family along the way, seeing Nazi brutality of both the casual and the calculated kind, and recording atrocities with a smuggled camera (``What has happened to me?...Who am I? Where am I going?''). Matas, explicating an exhibit of photos and other materials at the new United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, creates a convincing composite youth and experience--fictional but carefully based on survivors' accounts. It's a savage story with no attempt to soften the culpability of the German people; Daniel's profound anger is easier to understand than is his father's compassion or his sister's plea to ``chose love. Always choose love.'' Daniel survives to be reunited, after the war, with his wife-to-be, but his dying friend's last word echoes beyond the happy ending: ``Remember...'' An unusual undertaking, effectively carried out. Chronology; glossary. (Fiction. 11-14) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.
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