April 11, 2013

Review #18: Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz

Alan Gratz's YA novel of a teenage boy in Poland during the Nazi occupation is at once heartbreaking, powerful, and courageous.  I read a few books as a teenager about Jews during WWII (Anne Frank, obvs, and also Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss).  Gratz takes it to a whole new level.  Instead of just a story of a teenager in hiding, he tells the story of a teenager who is caught and taken to the prison camps.

The imagery that Gratz creates puts the reader smack in the middle of the situation.  Then he goes on to evoke a powerful slew of emotions that basically rendered me completely useless until I discovered Yanek's (the boy's) outcome.

Yanek is not only caught, but he has to figure out a way to survive.  Not only this, but he goes through 10 different types of concentration camps before the story is finished.  10!  Can you even imagine that as an adult?  Now picture being your 13-year-old self.  I am not sure I was clever enough at 13 to pull it off.

Yanek's story is definitely one that will keep you up all night reading until you finish it.  I would definitely read another book by Gratz if he keeps writing books like Prisoner B-3087!


  1. Oh my gosh-10 camps?! What an intense sounding story. This isn't one I'll be picking up soon but when I'm in the right mood, I'll certainly consider it.

  2. The only book about the Holocaust I've read is Night by Elie Wiesel. We also watched a movie based on a true story about a Jew who joined the SS while the rest of his family was sent to a concentration camp. I totally forgot the title of that one.

  3. I'll have to look for this book. A few years ago I read The Seventh Well by Fred Wander and learned that he survived numerous camps, too, and I was amazed.


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