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Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust Paperback – March 1, 2005
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About the Author
Allan Zullo is an American non-fiction writer. He is the author or co-author of more than eighty paperbacks for adults and children.
Top Customer Reviews
"Hurry up!" shouted the impatient German guard.
"It's here somewhere. I know it is."
"You don't have a pass, do you?" snarled the guard. "You're trying to sneak out of the ghetto, trying to fool me."
"No really, I have - " The man never finished his sentence. The guard shot him.
Hearing the loud bang, Luncia jerked. Her father wrapped his arms tight around his coat to keep her still, but her whole body trembled uncontrollably. He's going to shoot us all, I know it.
I know that my 4th grader is not ready to read this kind of material but this is an excellent book to be read by everyone that is ready for this type of material. Very well written information that we all should know and never forget.
Each chapter tells the story of a different child's experience.
Two children were part of the kindertransport, but didn't go all the way to England. Another was on the ill-fated ship the St. Louis. A shocking reminder of how some survived and some didn't by the smallest of decisions.
I have already read it many times. I intend to share it with my nieces when they next visit. The next generation must know that the Holocaust did exist. That over six million people died not for 'who' they were but for 'what' they were (Jewish, Gypsy, Gay, etc.). Unfortunately, nothing seems to unite people like having 'someone' to blame all your problems on. The Nazis and countless others both before and since have made that very clear.
I found this book interesting, informing, and tremendously motivating. This book holds the attention of the reader exceptionally well. When you thought the character had no alternatives but to give up, you were immediately surprised by the courage they found within to outlast the struggle. For example, when Mathei Jackel, age ten, was placed in a boxcar all alone headed for a death camp, he somehow managed to escape out the door and remain free from the terror of the Nazis. You were left with the impression that he had no way out of the boxcar, which was headed towards his demise, and surprised when he escaped with his life. While keeping the reader involved with the stories, the book also enlightens the reader with many important facts pertaining to World War II and the Holocaust. Facts such as dates, historic locations, and vocabulary terms can be referenced to from the book and its glossary located at the back. Through reading the novel, I was able to learn many of the conditions the Jews faced. I was able to learn about the rations of food they were expected to live on and the daily routines they anticipated such as digging trenches, constructing war materials, and making long strenuous walks to various concentration camps. Above all, the stories included in this book were motivating and ultimately inspiring. Lines such as,"I don't know how, but I am going to survive...I can't think any other way," let the reader realize to never giving up is an important value to have in reaching your dreams. Hearing what each character endured made you realize anything is possible when you set your mind to it. The will and courage each child had made you want to strand up and make a difference. Many morals and life lesson ran through the simple yet captivating stories of each child's experiences. Life lessons everyone can find valuable such as going for your dreams and believing in yourself were key in each story. Although this book was an amazing read it, it's not suitable for all ages.
Even though the book was well written and exceptional, it provides some vivid descriptions that an immature audience could not handle. Due to its graphic nature, this book is well suitable for a mature middle school or older audience. Mature audiences can benefit from its lessons and values such as courage represented in each story.
The book could have been improved if it had included more about life of Jews before the Holocaust and the invasion of the Nazis. Readers could have understood how the lives of the Jews were completely turned upside-down by the Nazis' evasion. Readers also could have gotten to know the characters better by knowing more about their everyday life prior to the struggles they faced.
Being a high school freshman, this book relates to many pieces of literature included in the high school curriculum. Books such as To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, are related to this book in the sense that they both value courage in the activities the characters peruse. In both books the characters demonstrate both moral and physical courage. The Book also relates to the novel To Kill a Mockingbird because in both the characters are treated differently because of others ignorance. In both characters are faced with racism. In both books the characters face a loss of innocence due to dealing with adult conflicts and things children should have to face such as death and the slaughter of people due to racism.
I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.