File Size: 22034 KB
Print Length: 385 pages
Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (August 25, 2015)
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
People might wonder why we need yet another book in a field that had been extensively researched and recorded from most every angle, but I think this story is truly unique and adds a fresh point of view. You see and experience everything through the eyes of a pre-teen. The present tense really makes everything come to life. There is no hindsight, so it leads you step by step from a fairly pleasant, regular life in Prague into a situation that goes from bad to terrible to more serious. In this way, you learn to vaguely grasp how this horror of horrors really can happen. And it did.
The matter-of-fact storytelling, with its reliable, realistic detailing, engages all five senses in a way that really fleshes out the physical and mental anguish of being chucked helpless into this disorder. Without having giving away anything, I could say there are certainly a few searing moments from this book I will always remember. There are also cliffhangers along the way that ratchet upwards the suspense notch by notch as the story builds towards what is apparently an inevitable and ultimate doom. And it's all true.
This book is already a classic inside my eyes -- a story well told, demonstrating how the values of teamwork, friendship, resourcefulness, and family love can prevail.
I have never existed through anything at all similar to this, and I say thanks to the author for posting his experience in a way that has helped me gain a sliver of a grasp at understanding, in a more tangible and emotional way, what really performed happen -- and can happen again if we are not careful. I will be processing what I have just read for many years to come., This is an excellent book about life in Terezin for a boy, his mother, his sister, and friends, where they were incarcerated for two and a half years. Before the advent of Fascista Germany, they had existed a fulfilling middle-class life in Prague with Michael's dad, a prominent, well-connected attorney, who was brutally murdered shortly after his capture by the Nazis. This is a story that contrasts the horrors and brutality of war and genocide with the solidity of the Gruenbaum family when confronted with unthinkable evil and inhumanity. The book reflects a seamless collaboration between Michael and his co-author, Jake Hasak-Lowy, who crafted the fluent narrative based on his conversations with Michael about his experience, brief visits to Terezin and Auschwitz, and additional research to steep himself fully in what Michael, his family, and his friends likely experienced during their imprisonment and enslavement. The guide, written for middle-school visitors, is a quick read for grownups yet relays Michael's activities in appropriate ways for the adult reader as well as the teenage audience for whom it is supposed. Kudos for an enlightening guide that highlights how boys in bondage could work and play together under intolerable circumstances to handle their trauma as well as you possibly can. Of course Michael's mother comes across as an amazing woman, great relationship with his sister helps both of them endure., As a librarian at an organization that trains about the Holocaust, Dealing with History and Ourselves, I highly recommend this memoir of Holocaust survival, told from an adolescent boy's point of view. It is written in a very accessible and age-appropriate way, and makes the almost unfathomable events of the Holocaust " real" for modern center grade readers. Michael's story is presented in a fast moving, engaging format, and gives a glance into the events and feelings that " Misha" experienced as his family was forced from their comfortable life in Prague, first into the Jewish segregazione, and later, into the Terezin concentration camp. Yet , even during this grueling challenge, Misha and his family demonstrate resilience and resistance contrary to the Nazis and their murderous system. This guide is an important share to Holocaust memoir, and a really engaging read for readers grades 5 and up., Though this is listed as a Grownup book, as a mature adult I found it interesting enough that it was hard to put down. Although I have read many Holocaust stories, the point of view of this one was different.... a young young man, not really realizing what was coming, but that life was changing in ways that he didn't like. Having visited the old Jewish quarter and museum in Prague, Czech Republic, and the places this boy lived, it was very very real. Exactly what fascinated me most was the way the Judaism grownups who had teaching, sports or musical skills found a way to continue to educate the children in the prison camp (Terezin). Today, if you visit the museum in Prague, you can see examples which were saved of the childrens' artwork, characters, etc. I highly recommend reading this book, and if possible, visiting Prague to see the museum, with artifacts, and 1000s of names in memoriam on the walls of the interior chapel area. If you have older children that are aware and able to deal with this, you might even use this as a history lesson, as many have done with " The Record of Anne Frank".
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