Tag Archives: holocaust

Student Review: Night, by Elie Wiesel (Reviewed by Jessica S.)

Night (The Night Trilogy, #1)Night by Elie Wiesel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Taken from their homes, their nice life, family, and friends, Elie and Moshe were stripped of all the goodness in their lives and put into a concentration camp in Germany, where they lived their lives in fear.

They were separated from the rest of their family, Elie’s sister, and mother. While living in the camp, they did not know what would come next, they did not know how much longer they would have to live, and they did not know if they would ever see the rest of their family, they did not know anything. While in the camp, Elie witnessed many horrifying and tragic things. People being beaten in front of their eyes, people killed in an instance, and people crying and praying for their life around him.

Elie Wiesel does a very nice job or portraying and persuading people to believe and feel that while they are reading this book, they are in a concentration camp, fell how the people felt, or at least feel bad for the people who suffered during this time period. By using key facts and information about life in a concentration camp, this book is a great one to read. I would definitely recommend it for people who really want to get a good understanding of the Holocaust and the effects of life in a concentrations camp. Again, it clearly covers the life in the camps and how scary it was to wake up every morning not knowing what is going to happen.~Student: Jessica S.

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Student Review: The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank (reviewed by Lianora V.)

The Diary of a Young GirlThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anne, a wise thirteen year-old, writes down her observations in this diary that she received on her birthday. Anne Frank and her family are Jews living in the time of Hitler’s reign. While many Jewish people are being brought to concentration camps, the Franks and the Van Daans move into an attic of her father’s office building. In the beginning, Anne feels extremely alone and she continues to feel this way throughout the book. In the secret annex, Anne rights down her observations of the others and how she feels criticized and annoyed for not being able to live up to her sister, Margot. Towards the end of the book, Anne begins to question herself more; she wants to be the good kid who the adults wish she could, but finds it difficult. Anne watches others out on the street and listens to the sounds of the war. Anne’s last journal entry describes her own internal conflict.

For a thirteen year-old girl, Anne is wise beyond her years. I was intrigued by this book, because it is far more than another historical holocaust book. It is hard to criticize this book, because it is a diary, and I don’t feel right saying that it should have been shorter, however, the first 100 pages or so felt mildly repetitive. Also, it was hard to grasp who some of the characters were and their significance, because it is a journal. I was able to connect to Anne Frank through her struggle of identity. On the last page, Anne defines her conflict between the good and the bad parts of her. This part made me think about how hard it is to break a habit and change who you are on your own. I would recommend this book to any teenager who enjoys personal struggle and adventure. I know people who do not enjoy reading about war, but I think this book is more a story of a girl, rather than a historical time period. ~ Student: Lianora V.

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Student Review: The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank (reviewed by Rachel N.)

The Diary of a Young GirlThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I began reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank thinking it would be interesting, but also worrying that the only thing in the book would be about the war. Once I was past the second chapter, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was it interesting and factual, but I could also relate to it. I always thought that teenage girls in the 1940’s were very different than teenage girls today. It turns out, Anne Frank and I have a lot in common! For example, we share the same birthday, we like being mature young adults, and we both like cats! What I realized while reading this book is that Jews in the 40’s in Europe were similarly treated like Black people in the 50’s and 60’s in the USA. Both Jews and Black people have to go to separate schools, live in the rundown part of towns, and are not allowed to do certain activities. I expected the Franks to be sitting around in fear for two years while they were hiding from the Nazis. Instead, they made the most of the small space and went on with their lives. That surprised me. One last thing about this book that I enjoyed is the fact that it is a true story told by a real Holocaust victim. Most ways that I learn about the Holocaust is from Hebrew school and textbooks. This was raw and real, which I loved. I’m sad that the Franks were betrayed and arrested by the Nazis, and that most of them were killed. Overall, this was a great book, and I would highly recommend it to people who are interested in learning about the Holocaust in a unique way. ~ Student: Rachel N.

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Student Review: Night, by Elie Wiesel (reviewed by Sydney G.)

Night (The Night Trilogy, #1)Night by Elie Wiesel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ellie Wiesel’s memoir, Night, follows Wiesel’s heart-aching journey of survival and fate through the Holocaust as a young boy. This page-turner allowed me to finish in one plane flight (although the book is 109 pages). The uncertainty of what the next page brought, the chills from what Wiesel endured, the comedic relief of a time of hopelessness is what makes this book. For example, Ellie and his running mate, Zaldman, start to get tired before reaching their next camp. They both knew the outcome of dropping to the ground of fatigue, death. Ellie says out loud, “Soon, we will all come to a halt. We cannot run like this to the end of the world”(86). This instance of comic relief not only makes the readers smile but also has them imagining Zaldman smiling as well. Wiesel’s brilliant comment is why they reached their destination without giving up. Despite its size, this book is dense.

Coming from a Jewish family, I loved this book and I would recommend this book to any Jewish girl or boy to be educated on how our ancestors were forced to live. I would also recommend it to anyone at all ages because adults and kids will both benefit from reading this memoir. Because it’s a memoir, Wiesel shares his story through his own eyes and opens the reader’s eyes with details about the Holocaust you cannot find anywhere else. ~ Student: Sydney G.

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Student Review: The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank (Reviewed by Emily D.)

The Diary of a Young GirlThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This piece of literature is a great book to read as a young, teenage girl, and I would recommend it to anyone. The book’s author is Anne Frank, who is posthumously one of the most famous figures of Jewish life when the Nazis occupied the Netherlands. The diary was originally a gift for her thirteenth birthday, but seventy-three years later it has sold millions of copies and has been translated into more than 60 languages. It glances into her life in hiding above her father’s office with seven other people: the van Daans, Mr. Dussel, her parents, and her sister. In this diary she shared her innermost thoughts of those surrounding her and her own personal feelings of love, loneliness, and loss.

I was surprised on how deep and thoughtful Anne was in her diary. Previously I had assumed that the book would be full of facts on how the Nazis were invading the Netherlands, but after reading it I know that I was wrong. The facts and timeline of the war are beautifully integrated into the story, thus creating a vivid historical context for the story to unfold in. Hiding indoors from those who want you dead for two years changes one’s perspective and thoughts on life, and since Anne is a young adolescent, these thoughts are only intensified. She often expresses her thoughts on boys and sex, which are sometimes vulgar, but are expected as a teenager. As the reader you witness her blossom into a bright young woman with opinions from an innocent child, which is a change that I would hope every woman to witness in their life.~Student: Emily D.

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Student Review: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (reviewed by William O.)

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak follows a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany. This book is extremely immersive and overall a good book.

This book shows that everywhere in the world no matter the time there are good people. Even in for example Nazi Germany. The small community of Himmel St defies the stereotype of German’s during World War II. The story is told from the perspective of death himself and has a very strange style. You may find yourself reading things non-chronologically. Also, throughout the book he leaves notes in bold print that are relevant to the story he is telling. This sometimes makes the story difficult to follow because quotes and conversations are occasionally in the note form which interrupts the flow of the book. These instances however you soon adapt to and add to the curious telling from Death’s point of view in a beneficial way. The characters are realistic in that they react as would be expected. Such as, “Every unit of time carried with it the expected noise of knocking and threatening words. They did not come. The only sound was of himself. ‘What have I done?’ he whispered again.” After he attempts to do something good and it turns out badly he expects to be punished and overall feels immensely guilty. This book is set in Nazi Germany as I have previously said which makes it a harsh contrast to our world.

This is a well crafted book that is well worth reading. ~ Student: William O.

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