I came across this book on Amazon one day, and since we were studying a bit about WWII, the Holocaust and such, I thought it would make an interesting read. It did!!
In 1945 the war ended. The Germans surrendered, and the ghetto was liberated. Out of over a quarter of a million people, about 800 walked out of the ghetto. Of those who survived, only twelve were children. I was one of the twelve." For more than fifty years after the war, Syvia, like many Holocaust survivors, did not talk about her experiences in the Lodz ghetto in Poland. She buried her past in order to move forward. But finally she decided it was time to share her story, and so she told it to her niece, who has re-told it here using free verse inspired by her aunt. This is the true story of Syvia Perlmutter—a story of courage, heartbreak, and finally survival despite the terrible circumstances in which she grew up. A timeline, historical notes, and an author's note are included.
I honestly just don't really know what to say about this book. To say I enjoyed it would be insane, considering the circumstances and story in the book. Who could enjoy a book on the Holocaust? To say I could hardly put it down is honest, because as I read, the story captivated in a way that I felt the pain, emotions, heartache, and trauma and yet...even though it was awful I just couldn't not read it. Some books will have that effect on you.
Jennifer Roy, niece of the young lady in the book, wrote this book to recount what her aunt had told her about her experience during WWII as a Jewish child. The story is told in verse poetry - first person, hence is labeled a fiction although in reality it is a true story (non-fiction). Jennifer wrote it as though the young girl herself is telling the story. It is told through a child's eyes as she was forced out of her home, to live in a ghetto, in the worst conditions imaginable. She tells about her family, the games she played, her friends, the disappearances, the sights she saw, smells, and so much more. You will be glued to the pages, while at the same time horrified at what she experienced, at what the Jews experienced simply because someone labeled them "unfit" for society.
It is heart wrenching. You'll be gritting your teeth and praying.
Many Jewish people never talked about the things that happened to them during that time in history. Their stories are lost and forgotten. But they are stories that need to be read, told, and remembered. It certainly left me with a heavy heart. How can the human race treat each other this way? Sin - a lack of the fear of God, that has to be it.