Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pryor, Bonnie. Simon’s Escape: A Story of the Holocaust

Pryor, Bonnie Simon’s Escape: A Story of the Holocaust
Enslow 2010 160p 27.93
978-0-7660-3388-7 elm/ms Holocaust VG Historical Fiction Adventures(Enslow)

This historical novel tells the story of a young Jewish boy in the Warsaw of 1939.
By the time that World War II had ended, six million Jews had been murdered at the hands of Nazi Germany. In many areas, the Nazis had the help of the local population. This novel tells the story of a young Jewish boy in the Warsaw of 1939. Until then, Simon has always led a good life. Raised by secular parents, he does well enough in school and is always the first picked for soccer games. His family is well off and everything is rosy until the Nazi invasion. When Poland surrenders, their Jewish population is systematically confined to smaller and smaller areas of Warsaw and given less and less sustenance. To help his family, the boy joins a group of smugglers that deliver food throughout the ghetto to those who still had funds. As time passes, the Germans systematically murder Simon’s family and the rest of the Jews. Simon escapes during the ghetto uprising and makes his way to the forests to join the partisans.
This is engaging, suspenseful, well-written historical fiction with interesting characters and a well paced plot. Based on the actual events, the book would be a good way to introduce younger children to the horrors of the Holocaust. the book ends with a chapter that explains the “real history behind the story” and includes a small map of the ghettos and bibliography of books and Internet addresses.
Historical Ogintz, Susan

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