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Because of Romek: A Holocaust Survivor's Memoir 

by David Faber, James D. Kitchen
08/10/2017 Categories: holocaust non-fiction older teens wwII

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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Night 

by Elie Wiesel
03/04/2017 Categories: biography historical holocaust non-fiction

Night tells the story of Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel and what it was like for him and his family to live being isolated from the rest of the world with the Jewish community. Wiesel remembers when he lost his family to the immoral act of genocide and the fears that he had while losing the will to live.

Night is an interesting book because it's one of those books that can shake you emotionally by presenting the life of a Jewish person in the face of intolerance. This story is told all from Wiesel's perspective which shows us what it was like growing up with loved ones being killed and discriminated against during this time of genocide.

Yes, I would recommend this book to others because this story has a theme of how it is important to stand up to injustices even in the face of danger. Informing more people about making a change in the world is needed to create a civilized society. Young and old people should read this book so history can be remembered by all.

Kirsten, 15

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All The Light We Cannot See 

by Anthony Doerr
05/20/2016 Categories: handicaps holocaust survival stories war

This book is an incredible story that follows the lives of a teen age girl and boy during WWII. All they have in common is the war, until their paths cross one day. The boy who is an orphaned is convinced to join the Nazi Party, but feels like he is not doing what's right. The girl who is blind, struggles as she is forced to leave her home in Paris, and live with her Great-Uncle.

All the Light We Cannot See is an amazing book because it shows an angle of the Holocaust not normally covered: the German's side. The characters are well developed, leaving you hopeful they'll do the right things.

If you love historical fiction, and a challenging read with incredible language, you'll love All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Amanda, 16

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Diary of a Young Girl 

by Anne Frank
04/01/2013 Categories: history holocaust true stories war

Anne Frank is a thirteen year old Jewish girl who hides in an attic called "the Secret Annexe" for two years with multiple other families. She writes about all of her experiences in a journal, which is this book. Anne details her relationships, conflicts, and thoughts about her, the people she's with, and the troubles of 1942.

This book is an amazing look into life during the Holocaust. Anne has a very wide vocabulary for her age, and has very deep opinions about the world around her. Her interesting personality makes it very entertaining to read, and it is very easy to relate to her (more so if the reader is female).

If you'd like a book detailing what life was like during the Holocaust, The Diary of a Young Girl is definitely a story you should consider reading. I recommend it. It's simple to read, but lasts long enough to produce an evident impact.

Jakob, 15

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Blood of the Reich 

by William Dietrich
07/18/2012 Categories: action battles holocaust suspense

Blood coverBlood of the Reich is a book about Nazi fanatics attempting to gain control of a mysterious power called the Vril, which was said to have been gotten by an ancient civilization that lived and died in a secret valley in Tibet. The book alternated between the past, in 1938-1945, and the present. It included mind boggling science, huge Nazi schemes, betrayal, icy mountains, explosions, and more.

I liked this book because of its intriguing plot and characters, along with the action and adventure that occurred throughout the story.

I would recommend this book to devoted readers who can handle some scientific terms and large plot twists. This book was hard to put down and highly entertaining!

Brian, 15

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A Separate Peace 

by John Knowles

A Separate Peace is a novel that takes place during WWII, and talks about two best friends. Finny and Gene seem to be unlikely friends, because Finny is really into sports and having fun, while Gene focuses on his studies and being number one in his class. Gene becomes extremely jealous of Finny' s popularity, and becomes paranoid that Finny doesn't want Gene to be number one in the class. Gene's jealousy controls him and gets the better of him and starts the main conflict in this novel.

This book teaches the life lessons of friendship and loyalty. A true friend should not feel jealous and want to bring down a friend, but should be happy and support his or her friend. A true friend will acknowledge and accept their wrong doings toward their friend, and finally his or her friend will accept the apology. Another life lesson I learned was that you should always think before acting because you might regret it until your death.

This book is more than two covers filled with printed pages. The words and story itself come to life with each turned page. The characters become a friend you yourself will not want to say good bye to. The whole book was amazing, because the book starts out as a comedy but becomes and ends as a tragedy. If you are a strong reader and can withstand a sad ending like this one, I strongly recommend this book. A Separate Peace is more than a book , it's a soul that keeps living.

Lauren, 16

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The Diary of a Young Girl 

by Anne Frank
06/18/2012 Categories: holocaust survival stories true stories

Anne Frank is a 13-year-old Jewish girl, who spends two years of her short life hiding in a cramped attic, located in Amsterdam, along with several other families. This real-life story takes place in 1942. Anne and her family are in the "Secret Annexe," because at the time, the Nazis were occupying Holland. Anne keeps a diary, in which she writes all about her life.

The story of Anne Frank is very touching and powerful. It is a remarkable book that is perfect for any advanced reader. I liked it because of the plot line and vivid details. It is interesting to read about a girl your age, and to compare your life to her's.

If you are interested about learning more about Europe's history, and discovering how life was back then, you should consider reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. You won't be disappointed!

Milla, 12

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The Reader 

by Bernhard Schlink
06/05/2012 Categories: holocaust romance world war I

Reader coverThe Reader, written by Bernhard Schlink, is a book that talks about inapprpiate
relationships. The main character, Michael , becomes enthralled by Hanna, a
woman is his neighborhood, who is twice his age. Fifteen year old Michael lies
to his parents, goes back to school, and even sells his prized stamp collection
for his new lover, Hanna. This book has two parts. At the beginning, Michael is fifteen when he firsts meets Hanna, but is later in his twenties when he finally sees Hanna again.  Michael finds out why and where Hanna disappeared.

I would recommend this book to teens who enjoy a good mystery, and if you pay close attention you can solve the mystery. However this book does contain intense scenes. Remember, Michael and Hanna do have a inappropriate relationship. This book was a fast read book because of the awesome mystery - it's a total page turner!  There is also a movie with the same name based on this book.

Lauren, 16

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The Book Thief 

by Marcus Zusak
05/29/2012 Categories: holocaust

A foster girl named Liesel, is taken to the Hubermanns. The narrator of the book is Death, which just adds to the amazingness of this book. Death explains the story in precise detail and explains how "Papa", also known as Hans Hubermann is a comforting man, who teaches Liesel to read. Liesel learns to read and steals books during the time of the Holocaust in Germany. 

This book really makes you think about Death and what it is. Death explains about taking people and you realize how the Jews and anyone who helped the Jews, suffered severely. It really helps grasp the concept of that time period.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. Most kids, like myself, love to read about fighting and Death. Everything about this book was amazing!

Chanel, 13

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Queen of Hearts 

by Martha Brooks
04/26/2012 Categories: holocaust romance

Queen of Hearts coverSet during World War II, Marie-Claire is horrified to discover that she--and her two siblings--have caught the worst disease of them all: tuberculosis. As she struggles through her ups and downs, she meets a boy who shows her that there is hope.

Here starts your atypical tale of boy meets girl. It was interesting to see a love story enfold in, of all places, a sanatorium between two patients--for this originality, I gave the book three stars but was unable to wholly enjoy it because the main character (Marie-Claire) was, put simply, annoying. Although this just makes her more "normal", many of her actions throughout the book irritated me to no end.

If you like some history or unconventional (and subtle) romance, this book is for you. Anyone above 8th grade should find this an enjoyable read.

Erica, 16

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Night 

by Elie Wiesel
04/26/2012 Categories: holocaust survival stories

Night coverFollow Eliezer as he takes you on his frighteningly vivid journey as a victim of the Holocaust, through the thick and thin of one of the most notorious concentration camps, Auschwitz.

As it documents Elie's story (though some parts are inaccurate to his personal experience for several reasons), Night is obviously a sad book with a bittersweet ending. However, the story itself was portrayed so vividly and wonderfully that I can't help but give it full marks.

Anyone who has a taste for history and doesn't mind a sorrowful book will enjoy this, though high schoolers will get the most out of this text. Be warned that some of the horrible things that happened during the Holocaust will be described to a degree.

Erica, 16

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Night of Many Dreams 

by Gail Tsukiyama
02/29/2012 Categories: holocaust realistic fiction wwII

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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Sarah's Key 

by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Jewish Starzynski family had their lives turned upside down when they were taken away by French police in the long forgotten Vel d'Hiv' roundup that took place in Paris, France during WWII. Their daughter, Sarah, hides her 4-year old brother Michel in a secret cabinet, believing that she'll be able to return and find him. Sarah's hopes are in vain when she is torn away from her parents and sent to a concentration camp. A journalist by the name of Julia Jarmond works to uncover Sarah's story and remind others of the lives lost in the Vel d'Hiv'.

Sarah's Key was one of those books that I couldn't put down. It goes back and forth between Sarah's and Julia's points of view, slowly bringing their fates together.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who are interested WWII stories and enjoyed The Diary of Anne Frank and David Faber's Because of Romek

Gillyn, 15

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