Greater Than Angels
by Carol Matas
Reviewed by Keri
Anna Hirsch is a 15-year-old German Jew girl who loves the theater, but when the Nazis come everything changes. Told as a memory until the narrrative reaches the present, then then transforms to a first-person narrative, this book is my favorite piece of Holocaust fiction. Anna, her mother, aunt, and grandmother are forced to be deported. As they pack, a non-Jewish neighbor claims that the Hirsches will be going to the south of France, not a concentration camp. In France, however, they are treated as German refugees and sent to the Gurs refugee camp, a barracks with horrible conditions. Anna and her friend Klara, along with Klara’s annoying older brother Rudi, are released and sent to Le Chambon, a tiny French village with a children’s home caring for dozens of Jews. There, Anna helps Rudi deliver false documents and develops a friendship with him. Rudi arranges an escape attempt for Anna and Klara to sneak into Switzerland, which is guarded against refugees. As they leave, Rudi kisses Anna. Will the escape be successful? What has happened between Anna and Rudi? Read this enthralling book to find out.
The Man From the Other Side
by Uri Orlev
Reviewed by Sean
A historical fiction novel set in the time frame of the Holocaust, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good story with a lot of action and surprises found on every turning page. A middle-aged Jewish man tells the story of his childhood friend, a Polish Catholic named Marek. Marek is struggling through adolescence and wondering which side to take in the political half of the war. He could go with his stepfather, who he dislikes to no end, and go against the Jews and Communists, or he could take the side of his loving mother, and treat them as equals. Marek decides to take the side of his stepfather, not because his intense disliking to him, but instead because of his friends who oppose the Jewish race. Will a shocking family secret change his outlook, not only on the war but also on life? Find out in The Man From the Other Side.
by Anne Isaacs
Reviewed by Anna
This enthralling story tells about a family in the Holocaust that has been moved to a ghetto. Eva is a twelve-year-old girl with a sister named Rachel. One day during round-ups Rachel is taken to a labor camp. Eva's father believes she was endangered and arranges for Eva to go to the same camp as her sister. Eva's father assures her she will be safe. Eva and Rachel are forced to make blankets and Nazi uniforms in a factory. Their lives are like torn threads on their machines. Will Eva and her sister live to see their father again? Find out while reading Torn Thread.
Other books of interest on the Holocaust
by Marie McSwigan
Norway has $ US 9,000,000 in gold the country wants to give to the Allies. The Nazis in the occupied country will not allow it, and will murder anyone caught delivering the precious metal. Peter Lundstrom, a local village boy, and his friends slip past the Nazis with the gold hidden in their sleds. There are many close calls, but in the end, Peter and his Uncle Victor must trust a Nazi.
Code Name Kris
by Carol Matas
Jesper, whose resistence code name is Kris, tells of the later years of the war in Denmark. After being arrested, 17-year-old Jesper goes into hiding and produces the Copenhagen resistance newspaper. He also has a crush on Janicke, a fellow resistance photographer in hiding, but is embarrassed when his best friend Stefan comes back from Sweden and also has affections.
No Pretty Pictures
This is the testimony of the author. It begins when she’s five in Krakow with her family, and ends in Auschwitz when she’s sixteen. Anita travels to her uncle’s village and thoughout Poland to escape the Nazis.
I Have Lived a Thousand Years
In this memoir told with alternative names, Elli Friedmann, a 13-year-old Hungarian girl, tells of her journey and struggle to survive in ghettos and Auschwitz. This book is gripping and sad.