Disclaimer: This book was given my free of charge via netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis (from amazon)
Among Holocaust survivor stories, Eva Kor’s experience as a 10-year-old guinea pig of Dr. Josef Mengele in Auschwitz is exceptional. It is the story of a child facing extraordinary evil and cruelty, written for young teens and ending with an uplifting message. Eva Mozes Kor was just 10 years old when she arrived in Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, she and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man known as the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele. Subjected to sadistic medical experiments, she was forced to fight daily for her and her twin’s survival. In this incredible true story written for young adults, readers will learn of a child’s endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil. The book also includes an epilogue on Eva’s recovery from this experience and her remarkable decision to publicly forgive the Nazis. Through her museum and her lectures, she has dedicated her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope for people who have suffered, and working for causes of human rights and peace.
Eva Kor is known for her talks about her time in Auschwitz and about forgiveness. She is also the founder of the CANDLES (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiment Survivors) organisation and the CANDLES Holocaust Museum. She wanted to share her story in a way that was accessible for children and she worked with Lisa Rojany Buccieri to achieve this.
So did she achieve it? Well I’ve read a lot of war time stories involving children (although few are actually set in a concentration camp). I think generally these stories have been more accessible, although maybe that is because most of what I have read are fiction. They still tell a horrible, disturbing story but it is easier to sanitise them in a way, you can’t change the truth.
The story did give me a lot of respect for people who had gone through the death camps, and especially for Eva, for the strength and compassion they showed even in such an ugly situation.
I did feel it as a little brief in some areas, however this was probably due to it being a children’s story.
If you are looking for children’s books about the holocaust this might not be top of my recommendations but you can’t really go wrong with it.
If you have reviewed this book please leave a comment with a link and I will add it here.