One of the darkest periods in history. In a Polish ghetto, Max Rosen and his sister Zena struggle to live after their father is taken away by the Nazis. With barely enough food to survive, the siblings make a daring escape from Nazi soldiers into the nearby forest. Max and Zena are brought to a safe camp by Jewish resistance fighters. But soon bombs are falling all around them. Can Max and Zena survive the fallout of the Nazi invasion.
I still can not understand how the Holocaust occured. It blows my mind how so many people lost their lives because they were of Jewish faith. How concentration camps could even be considered or worst still the gas chambers. How one man could cause so much distruction or death. Basically how man can be so cruel to one another for no real reason and how they could hate someone with so much venom when they know nothing about them.
Reading this book I was hoping to get answers but instead I got more insight into the suffering these poor people went thru. The absolute fear and terror that they endured on a daily basis. Where as a very simple book to read as it is aimed at teens/young adults I am not sure I would want my children to read it. The subject is terrible and I want them to keep thinking the world is made up of unicorns and fairies and everyone has a pure heart for as long as I can.
Seeing the Robin sitting on barb wire at the start of each chapter gave me so much hope and made it feel like everything would be alright. Knowing that beauty still exsisted in this living hell helped me know that there was light at the end of the tunnel for some of them. It made the story seem lighter even though it was heavy in places and gave me some sort of faith. Although, a very gribbing read I did find my mind jumping around in places and felt it dragged in areas. I can't say I would want to read again mainly because I assumed it would be more based around the concentration camps but instead it was about the resistance fighters living in the woods attacking the nazis when they could. Still a compelling read.
I have an interest in war stories and with a Jewish heritage in our family, this one was of particular interest. I think that no matter how many stories or movies I watch on the subject, I experience deep emotion when I read about what happened. I Survived: The Nazi Invasion moves straight into using rich language to create a sense of danger and urgency. We are quickly drawn into the work of Max and his sister Zena. We feel for them and are concerned for them at every turn of the page. When I sat down to read the book, I am glad I left enough time to read more than a chapter or two. I found that once I started, I couldn't put it down until I had finished the entire book.
The book is aimed at seven to nine year old children. I think that either a teacher or parent should discuss the book with a child before and after reading it as, although it is a story, it is based on real facts. Some children may require a chance to verbalise their thoughts and feelings about the story. In fact, after writing that statement, I have read the author's (Lauren Tarshis) message at the back of the book. She suggests exactly that and also tells the young readers how important it is to learn from the horrible things that happened. She also provides and email address for readers to contact her. I think this is fantastic and a sign that she is really passionate about what she has written and wants to educate people as well as entertain them. The questions and answers section and the timeline at the back gives facts about the Holocaust and WWII. This is a useful resource to go through with children during a discussion about the book.
I think that the book is a great way to present the goings on during the Nazi invasion to children. We need to learn from the horrors of the past in order to make changes for the future. I know that I want my children to understand the world's history as part of their upbringing. Because Max and Zena are children, the children who read this book will relate to them and gain a better sense of how the situation effected children like themselves.
Mixed in with the fear and horror that the characters all have to go through, there are some heartwarming stories of being reunited with loved ones and close shaves with horrible situations. The story is of survival and hope and goes to show that no matter how bad things are, hope is something that we must keep close to us.
This book is part of a series. All the books are about survival situations and about how individual people may have coped given the extreme situation and conditions they were in. There is also a website related to the books which is well worth a look. Some facts are given relating to each of the books. There is also a quiz available to see if the reader would survive in a range of dangerous situations. This adds an additional fun and thought provoking aspect to the books.
This was a great read, even for an adult, and I am highly likely to hunt out the other books in the series as a result of reading this one.
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