Read about the children's and young adult books that I read.
Saturday, December 05, 2015
Yanek Gruener was a Polish boy caught up in the nightmare of the Holocaust. He experienced some of the worst horrors of the concentration camps as a boy as he went from a ghetto to 10 concentration camps and was forced on two death marches. Author Alan Gratz took Yanek's true story and made it into this powerful novel based closely on fact. It would be hard to believe that he survived were it not a true story. Like most stories of the Holocaust, it is difficult to read, but what stands out is Yanek's unwavering will to stay alive. This book doesn't gloss over the horrors of the gas chambers and brutal random killings by Nazis. I would think it would be most appropriate for older middle schoolers, but I do know fifth and sixth graders who have read and loved this book. The Boy on the Wooden Box and Yellow Star are two other excellent Holocaust books that are good introductory books for younger middle schoolers.