10 concentration camps.
10 different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly.
It's something no one could imagine surviving.
But it is what Yanek Gruener has to face.
As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the mercy of the Nazis who have taken over. Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have been snatched brutally from him. And then Yanek himself is taken prisoner -- his arm tattooed with the words PRISONER B-3087.
He is forced from one nightmarish concentration camp to another, as World War II rages all around him. He encounters evil he could have never imagined, but also sees surprising glimpses of hope amid the horror. He just barely escapes death, only to confront it again seconds later.
Can Yanek make it through the terror without losing his hope, his will -- and, most of all, his sense of who he really is inside?
Based on an astonishing true story.
Prisoner B-3087 is a realistic description of life and death for the Jewish people during the Holocaust. It is based, to a certain degree, on the true story of Jack Gruener, though it is a novelization. It is historical fiction set in Poland 1939-1945.
While being realistic enough to impress the horrors of the young Yanek's ordeal, it isn't too graphic that it would be unsuitable for upper middle school and high school students.
Yanek is only 10 years old when Hitler's armies begin to invade Europe. He is kind -hearted and optimistic. His matter of fact narration allows the reader to experience his emotions without getting too caught up in tons of description. The simple account of the deplorable treatment of the Jewish people allows readers to get to the heart of the story.
Yeanke's survival through so many different camps is amazing and makes this book different from other Holocaust survivers' stories. The descriptions of each camp allows readers to see the vast network the Nazi Party created and how each camp and prisoner sometime had different experiences. Yanek's never ending fight to survive each camp urges the reader to keep turning the page. Readers will not want to put this book down.
Prisoner B 3087 does not go into the graphic depth describing the horrors of the camp, nor does it address many other key points about the time period. To some this may leave a feeling that the story is lacking. However this overall look at one man's fight for survival allows readers to question humanity and history. This will hopefully lead readers to fin other books and do research on their own. Overall a great read for middle school, high school and history buffs. A truly compelling read.