H is for Holocaust MG books

Middle Grade books involving the Holocaust

Books 8 in A to Z challenge

While an unexpected topic, I have come across a few and figured it would work for the H post in this challenge. I have read 3 middle grade books involving the Holocaust over the years, starting way back as a pre-teen and finally having read another last year from a familiar author. Each has a different angle and narration but all showcase the dark time in history.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

About the Book: In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annexe" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

My Review: I read this one a long long time ago. Not the longest of the three but still, anything more than 10 years ago was long for me. But I do remember parts of the book. And it's obvious why this is a classic and how people can rave about how the tragic tale showcased not only the time period but the nature of the human spirit. It is a great book, one I would recommend for others. Even as an assigned book in school, I had no problems back then reading it.

I remember the hope found in the story and the real life existence exposed through the words of the diary. It was a real glimpse at another life, the things she had to worry about during the days in the attic and trying to continue despite the dangers and threats. I wonder how many haven't already read this since even in small town Wyoming, it was part of the reading curriculum.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

About the book: Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated," Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life.

My Review: This is the one that I read last summer. I went to the library for the other book in same series as The Giver but my library didn't hate that one. I found this book instead and decided to give it a read. It's an interesting story focused on a little girl who has a great personality and much courage. This story looks at the risks others took during the Holocaust to help those being targeted all while looking at it through the lens of someone very young.

It's a good, short read. Any readers interested in different fictional perspectives around the time in history, along with fans of the author (though this doesn't quite reach the same shelf for me as The Giver did), should consider reading this one.

Escape from Warsaw by Ian Serraillier (also known as The Silver Sword)

About the book: In 1942 Warsaw, World War II is raging, and people live in fear from day to day. Ruth, Bronia, and Edek have to fend for themselves when both of their parents are taken by the Nazis. Can they survive? A gripping story based on true accounts.

My Review:
I read this when I was young, pre-teen range though I can't remember exact years.

I don't remember the exact details that happen in the story since I read it so long ago. In fact, it also was hard to even find a description online for this part of the review because Goodreads didn't have anything on what it's about. I do remember the story gripping my attention and not letting go. I really liked the three characters and worried throughout the book, wondering if they would survive. Each rise in the tension made me tense and worry. It's a good book and while not as well known compared to some, it's one I recommend for anyone interested in the time period. The intense escape will keep you reading till the very end. And that fact that it has stuck in my memory over the years is a good sign too.

I haven't asked questions for most of the reviews, but I'm going to do an old method for this blog.

Do you recommend any other Holocaust books for young readers?
Have you read any of these three?



Natalie Zaman said...

These are awesome suggestions--I loved the Diary of Anne Frank--I think it's time to give it another read... :)

athousandliveslived said...

The Diary of Anne Frank was absolutely amazing. It means so much to me and Anne became one of my role models.

I haven't read the other two, but I obviously read The Giver (I mean, who hasn't?) and I remember seeing Number The Stars!

I love reading about the Halocaust, even though it was such a depressing time.

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks you two for the comments today.

Natalie Zaman - It has been too long for me I think. I may be reading two of these again in the future.

Michelle - It is a great book. Right, most have read The Giver. Though there are some books "most" have read that I haven't, so you never know.

Shawn Yankey said...

Great suggestions! This actually really helps because my daughter is learning about this stuff right now.
Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

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