10 concentration camps.
10 different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly.
It's something no one could imagine surviving.
But it is what Yanek Gruener has to face.
As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the mercy of the Nazis who have taken over. Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have been snatched brutally from him. And then Yanek himself is taken prisoner -- his arm tattooed with the words PRISONER B-3087.
He is forced from one nightmarish concentration camp to another, as World War II rages all around him. He encounters evil he could have never imagined, but also sees surprising glimpses of hope amid the horror. He just barely escapes death, only to confront it again seconds later.
Can Yanek make it through the terror without losing his hope, his will -- and, most of all, his sense of who he really is inside?
Based on an astonishing true story.
The Nazis killed more than one million Jewish children and teenagers; Jack (Yanek) Gruener, who was 10 when Krakow, Poland, fell, was a rare survivor. Survive, however, hardly seems adequate to describe what unfolds in these pages. Having lost his parents and close relatives just as he entered adolescence (Yanek has a secret bar mitzvah in a basement of the Krakow ghetto), the boy is totally alone as his life becomes a roll-call of nightmares: Trzebinia, Bir-kenau (where his arm is tattooed with the number in the book s title), Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Gross-Rosen. Yanek is finally liberated at age 16, when American soldiers arrive at Dachau. Gratz (Fantasy Baseball) has fictionalized some aspects of Gruener s life to paint a fuller and more representative picture of the Holocaust as a whole, and this determination to be exhaustively inclusive, along with lapses into History Channel like prose, threatens to overwhelm the story. But more often, Gratz ably conveys Yanek s incredulity ( Not long ago, all these half-dead creatures around me had been people ), fatalism, yearning, and determination in the face of the unimaginable. Ages 10 14.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Allen Gratz comes through with another memorable book and story!
The book was awesome
I loved this book so much, my favorite part was when the American Allies came and saved them. That part had me in tears.