Throughout the duration of World War II, the lives of Jews across Europe took a turn for the worse. As the Nazi's reign of terror extended, Hitler and his followers grasped every aspect of Jewish life and turned it upside-down. . Survivors True Stories of Children in the Holocaust, by Allan Zucco and Mara Bosuvn, is a gripping book entailing the true life stories of eight children living during the time period and their amazing determination to survive through the Holocaust. Each story uniquely depicts the riveting events each child endured in their struggle to survive. All eight stories demonstrate the childrens' bravery, valor, courage, and wisdom beyond years in heart wrenching experiences. Each child remained strong as their world and everything they once knew fell down around them.
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.