Escondido Public Library - Teen Book Reviews

Posts in Category: wwII

Because of Romek: A Holocaust Survivor's Memoir

by David Faber, James D. Kitchen

In this memoir, David Faber describes his experiences as a Jew living under Hitler's Third Reich during World War II. Faber recounts the terrible mistreatment of Jews in concentration camps as well as his multiple attempts to escape. Although he was a survivor, he explains that the terrors of those years still haunt him in forms of nightmares.

This was the first Holocaust book that I picked up in my entire life. I read it at an early age, way before I had actually known about the injustices against Jews during World War II. The book gives a vivid description of what Faber's life was like before, during, and after the Holocaust. It was a difficult read because of the content but it did happen and I'm glad that I was able to learn from this book as well.

I would recommend anyone to read Faber's memoir. The first time I read it, I was in fourth grade. I didn't understand it at first, but I was able to learn from it the second time. I really liked Elie Wiesel's books but Faber has a different style of writing that makes it feel like you're there with him. It's scary but I think that was one of the reasons why Faber's book had a much more lasting impact on me than Night did. I think it's important that we remember the Holocaust and that we never forget it because it was terrible crime against humanity. That's why I would really recommend this book to anyone.

Heejeong, 18


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Diary of Anne Frank

by Anne Frank

One word. Wow. This book caused me to read it like, five times before understanding it, and taking it in. The timeline that Anne Frank wrote it in could still strike terror in people's hearts

I would explain it as a truly inspiring book. This book will make you get a new perspective on our history, and our future.

EVERYONE should read this fantastic diary-written book written by a young girl. If you haven't heard about it, you should definitely read it.!

Priscilla, 12


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Code Name Verity

by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity is about two British best friends that crash in Nazi-occupied France in World War II. One of the girls is imprisoned by the Gestapo, where she is tortured into releasing British secrets and information-only it is not what one would expect. The story follows both of the girls' backgrounds and struggles for survival during the tumultuous and dangerous war.

I like this book because it gives insight to what the Prisoners of War of the time endured and the inner-workings of the war effort. It touches on many different topics, such as the behind-the-scenes of the British Royal Air Force and the adversity that women faced in the work force. The plot line is also very emotional and takes many unexpected, yet thrilling turns.

I would recommend this book to others because it will always keep you on your toes. People that enjoy history or action would love Code Name Verity.

Bethany, 15


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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne

During World War ll, 8-year-old Bruno (Asa Brunofield) and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration camp where his father (David Thewlis), has just become commandant. He finds a Jewish boy of his age, though the barbed-wire fence of the camp that separates them.

This is a lovely book that made me feel so many emotions at once. I loved this book because it explained everything exactly how a 8 year old would see it.

This book was amazing! I would recommend this book to a person who likes to hear people's survival stories. I would say you want to be a little older 13 to understand this book.

Yessica, 15


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Star Sand

by Roger Pulvers

Hiromi, a sixteen-year-old Japanese American girl, lives on a small Japanese island during World War II. Hiromi, not knowing which side of the war to be on, finds a cave that conceals an American and a Japanese soldier who have both fled from the war. Neither able to communicate with one another, Hiromi decides to be their translator while also providing them with food. Hiromi wrote her story in her diary, which is later found in the twenty-first century. Not knowing what happened to the three, one college student travels to the island to answer the mystery of what happened to Hiromi.

Star Sand is an amazing book that shows humans as kind and loving individuals who look past the race of a person and see the good inside one another. It also has an air of mystery to it.

I would strongly recommend this book to those who like to read historical fiction and mysteries. This book will keep you sitting on the end of your seat.

Emily, 15


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Night of Many Dreams

by Gail Tsukiyama

Image result for night of many dreamsNight of Many Dreams is centered around the lives of Hong Kong's socially elite Lew family. The novel focuses on the two daughters of the Lew family, Emma and Joan. We follow them as they evacuate Hong Kong in the face of a Japanese invasion. No matter the situation the Lew family always endures together.

I really liked this book because it's different than other novels about socialites. The women of the Lew family weren't just pretty, rich girls that got whatever they wanted. They had emotional depth, and were therefore more realistic.

I would recommend this book to others who enjoy historical fiction, particularly focusing on WWII. I also think that people who enjoy books focused on the bonds of a family would enjoy this, but I do warn that this book isn't sappy or sweet at all. It's more about tragedy and hardship, and the Lew family's endurance in the face of those obstacles. 

Gillyn, 15


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Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl is set in the 1940's during the Holocaust. The story is a translated version of the real-life diary of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who hid with her family from Nazis occupation.

This book gives a real life look into the lives and minds of Anne Frank and her family, who had all been living in hiding for two long years. This book was simply mind-blowing; it's nearly impossible to believe that Anne, a normal teenager who struggled with little problems like the rest of us, was able to stay so strong till the very end. It is an inspirational book because it shows Anne's constant perky spirit, but it is also a very serious memoir of one of the millions of victims of concentration camps during the Holocaust. 

I would recommend this book to people ages 13 and up because it is a deeper read touching on the delicate topic of the persecution of the Jewish people during WWII. If you enjoy real stories about the persistence of the human spirit, you will love this book.

Gillyn, 15


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