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Author: Gratz, Alan
Based on the life of Jack Gruener, this book relates his story of survival from the Nazi occupation of Krakow, when he was eleven, through a succession of concentration camps, to the final liberation of Dachau.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 156573
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 59990
Common Core Standards
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 5 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 7 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Kirkus Reviews (01/15/13)
School Library Journal (06/01/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2013 When Hitler’s army entered and occupied his native Kraków, 10-year-old Yanek knew his life might change, but he had no idea of the horror that lay ahead. His remarkable survival story begins with a dramatic, emotional punch and then chronicles such moments as his secretive bar mitzvah in a warehouse basement, the systematic round up of Jews, and his deportation to the Plaszow concentration camp, the first of 10 camps he would suffer but survive. He recalls encounters with such Nazi figures as the sadistic Amon Goeth and describes acts of wanton, viscious brutality. In an appended note, Gratz explains that the novel is based on actual events in survivor Jack Gruener’s life but he has “taken liberties with some times and events” to provide a better overview. The account includes basic historical information including essential aspects of WWII. A map would have been helpful, but this essentially true story is a good starting point for students unfamiliar with the Holocaust. Pair it with Doreen Rappaport’s Beyond Courage (2012) and Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2013 Gr 6–10—"If I had known what the next six years of my life were going to be like, I would have eaten more. I wouldn't have complained about brushing my teeth, or taking a bath, or going to bed at eight o'clock every night." Yanek Gruener was 10 years old when the German army invaded Poland in 1939 and trapped his family inside the walls of the Jewish ghetto in Krakow. Over the course of World War II, he saw his parents deported by the Nazis and survived 10 different concentration camps. Through Gratz's spare, persistent prose, the story of the boy's early life unfolds with the urgency and directness necessary for survivor stories. While some liberties have been taken, with the permission of Gruener and his wife, Ruth, also a survivor, the experiences and images come directly from the Grueners' collective memories of the war. An author's note provides further biographical information. A powerful story, well told.—Sara Saxton, Tuzzy Consortium Library, Barrow, AK - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.