Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz
March 31, 2013
Yanek Gruener is a young Jewish boy living in Poland when the Nazis invade his town. In the beginning people are hopeful that the Americans will quickly stop the Germans. Instead, they are forced to build their own ghetto, share their small apartments with strangers, and surrender their businesses and valuables to soldiers. All the while people are snatched from the streets and sent to work camps. Eventually the ghetto is emptied of survivors and Yanek is sent to the first of ten concentration camps. For years he is tortured, tormented, and tattooed. He and his fellow prisoners are worked to the bone and starved by Nazi soldiers. He witnesses the horrors of human suffering as well as tiny glimpses of hope and kindness. He is alone in the world, but as the war rages on around him, he discovers that his will to survive is stronger than his pain and despair.
This fictional account of Jack Gruener’s experience during the Holocaust is at once horrifying and powerful, heartbreaking and hopeful. The content is not new or groundbreaking, and the details are historically accurate without being overly graphic. What makes this book memorable are the moments of compassion and kindness. Jack’s story is moving and inspirational and this book will be a welcome addition to both school and public library collections.
Readers may also be interested in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne and Night by Elie Wiesel
This book was provided by NetGalley.com and the publisher for review.