Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Historical Fiction
Prisoner B-3087

Prisoner B-3087

Spring 2013 Historical Fiction
Ages: 10 - 14 yrs.
Author: Ruth Gruener
Author: Jack Gruener
Author: Alan Gratz
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780545459013
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Yanek Gruener was ten when the Nazis marched into Poland and changed his life forever. Soon, he and his family were crammed with several others into a tiny Krakow apartment; then the deportations began, and Yanek's parents were seized and separated from him forever. Yanek himself was deported soon afterward, and began his life in the concentration camps, shuttling between nine camps in three years. Throughout the course of his formative years, he learns not only how to keep his body alive, but also how to preserve his dignity and human ethics under brutalizing circumstances.

Alan Gratz has drawn upon the narratives and interviews of Holocaust survivors Jack and Rose Gruener, expanding and altering their stories in sections so as to incorporate some broader elements of Holocaust-era history. Yanek is a convincing and appealing protagonist, and while the novel does not have the literary heft of The Diary of Anne Frank or Elie Wiesel's Night, it will provide an alternate narrative for young readers not yet ready for those texts.

Naomi Lesley   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

Share This