Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust – Allan Zullo and Mara Bovsun


Well hello again, fellow bookworms. I’m sorry it’s been so long. This time I really am. I would say something along the lines of being crazy with school and work and raising a puppy, but I have actually had spare time, I’ve just been choosing not to write. Yes, by the way I did say puppy. What kind you ask? He’s a mix of Maltese, Poodle, Pekingese, and Chihuahua. How old is he? Six months. What is his name? Radar, from the show M.A.S.H. What does he look like? I’ll show you!

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Left is most recent where he is ridiculously in need of some grooming, the right is from the summer when he was shaved for the first time. Let’s be real, he’s pretty cute. Maybe I’m a crazy dog lady (no maybe required I definitely am). Either way he’s my favourite. And even if I didn’t originally want a pup this small (he’s going to be 10 pounds max), I’m crazy attached.

Anyway, to the books!

I’ve been reading a lot lately, so you’ve got lots of posts coming your way!

Today I want to talk about Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust. I picked this one up thinking it would be an interesting read. I have a weird fascination/obsession with the Holocaust. Not in a creepy, anti-semitic way at all though, it’s more the stories of struggle and triumph and love and bravery that get me. I had high hopes for this book, but I was almost immediately let down. It was not written intelligently, obviously its audience wasn’t university students, which I should have guessed solely based on the fact that it was published by Scholastic. Clearly it was meant for middle school to junior high students, but that’s not something I noticed until I had bought the book.

The stories are all true, based off of interviews with the subjects. There were nine stories in this book of children who exceeded expectations and kept fighting until they didn’t have to any more. One saved the lives of all his family members by finding them a hiding spot. One told himself everyday that he must live, there was no other choice. One kept his identity by reminding himself of who he was and that he was important. The stories were what I wanted them to be, and yet not quite satisfying enough. They were not written intelligently, emotionally, or with proper grammar. Words starting with vowels quite often had ‘a’ preceding them instead of ‘an’ which really bothers me, I mean this is a big publishing company I’m sure you could afford an editor or two.

To conclude, I was extremely disappointed in this book. It had the potential to be inspiring, heart-wrenching, and educational. In actuality, it was poorly written, riddled with grammatical mistakes, and spent too much page space on explanations an educated reader would not require. Add this one to your “I think I’ll pass” list.


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