Just transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp, 14 year old Dita has been given the responsibility of Librarian for the Family Camp Block 31. At all cost, she distributes, collects the 8 precious books and hides them from the Nazi each day. Their much loved young leader, Fredy Hirsch, convinces the concentration camp commander that he would take care of the young children prisoners with music and exercise except academics which is banned.
Despite terrorizing and inhumane conditions, Dita and the children escape into the "outside world of knowledge" through the 8 books. Under starving and unsanitary existence, constant crematorium falling ashes, and endless train shipments of prisoners, misery and fear increase every day. With German time precision, their 6 months stay is up! Only strong prisoners will be transported elsewhere while the weak are destroyed. It is only the evil Dr. Mengele, who experiments atrocious surgeries, determines who leaves the camp or are exterminated. Does Dita leave or remain at Auschwitz?
This powerful book is a fictional account of an Auschwitz survivor based on real interviews of Dita Kraus. Author Antonio Iturbe captures the gruesome Holocaust of World War II while telling the story of a young brave Jewish girl who had the courage and hope to instill the love of life with dignity through books and knowledge. What a tribute to the power of the written word!
432 pages 978-1627796187 Ages 14 and up
Recommended by: Cecile Wong, Children's Instructor and Research Specialist, Maryland USA
Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.
Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.
This title has Common Core connections.--from the publisher