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| AUTHOR: || Jane Yolen |
| CATEGORY: || Book |
| MANUFACTURER: || Puffin Books |
| ISBN: || 0140345353 |
| TYPE: || Children's 9-12 - Fiction - General, Children: Young Adult (Gr. 7-9), Concentration camps, Fiction, Historical - Holocaust, Jews, People & Places - Other, Space and time, Time travel |
| MEDIA: || Paperback |
| # OF MEDIA: || 1 |
Customer Review of The Devil's Arithmetic
The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
Hannah, a young girl living in New Rochelle, goes with her family to her grandparents' house for the Passover Seder. She wonders why she always has to celebrate holidays with her relatives, and why she is always told, "remember." Finally, she finds out. That night when Hannah opens the front door to welcome Elijah, a prophet, she is somehow transported to a strange place. She soon finds out she is in a Jewish village, a Polish shtetl in the 1940s. Everyone she meets seems to know who she is, and keeps calling her Chaya. Her memories of her life in New Rochelle quickly fade away as she begins to believe she has lived here forever. Unexpectedly, Nazi soldiers take her and her family to a concentration camp. She meets a girl named Rivka, whom she becomes very good friends with. What she learns in this camp tells her why she must "remember," and will haunt her for always. If she survives, her life will be altered forever.
I like this book because stories about World War II are of interest to me. This particular book tells a lot of interesting facts about the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust. I felt I could understand every character and the situations they encountered because of how well they were outlined by the author. Each scene was well developed, and the characters were very human. In particular, I liked the way the author made the reader understand how Hannah was seeing this through her own eyes. I greatly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Holocaust.
Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen is a disturbing yet powerful book. I highly recommend it to children and adults of all ages. It is written in a very understandable way. This book talks alot about the history of the holocaust being that it is set in pre-WWII and in Poland. It is an excellent book for learning a piece of history that will never be forgotten and also a great book to just sit down and read. This book was written in first person and shows how a person as an individual felt during the holocaust and how they were treated in the concentration camps, and gives somewhat of an idea of what was going through their heads at the time. Usually, the feelings of people are generalized and instead of talking about what one person felt, since there were so many, it is generalized. It is a more realistic look at things, that is most probbly the reason why it gave the book a disturbing touch to it. It is about a girl named Hannah who has a grandfather and great aunt who have never ending stories and lectures about the Nazi's. She is at her house for the passover (pesah) and as tradition, someone opens up the door letting in the prophet Elijah. Hannah was chosen. Once she does, time changes and she is transformed to her aunt's best friend Chaya which is also her middle name. During that time, she is at a wedding where the Nazi's invade and take everyone there to concentration camps. They are kept in box cars for almost two days and finally are taken to the places where their heads are shaved and they are tattoed a number instead of having a name. At the camps Hannah is living a nightmare and day by day people are sent to the gas room where they never come back from. It is there that Hannah learns what it is really like to live the stories she has heard from her grandfather and have them become a reality. This book didnt have very many weaknesses, although, Yolen may have been able to make an even better and more outstanding book if she didnt keep things that simple. The plot could have been a little more elaborated on but the book is still excellent . From strengths to weaknesses, this book is an excelent way to learn a little about one of the worlds most unforgettable wars. Yolen kept me clutched to the book and had me not knowing what was going to hapen next. I never knew what was going to happen to her, weather she would live or die..
The Devil's Arithmetic: A Holocaust Story
By: Jane Yolen
This is a novel about the Jewish experience in concentration camps. There is a spoiled young girl by the name of Hannah. She hates her family's Seder meal, but when she goes to open the door for the prophet Elijah, she gets transported back in time to the year if World War II. Gitl and Shmuel are calling her Chaya instead of her real name. At Shmuel's wedding, the Germans come and take them away to concentration camps where they are starved, humiliated, and periodically killed. What will be Hannah's fate? Will she ever return to her normal life?
I genuinely enjoyed this book. I loved the plot, and the ending was magnificent. I liked how courageous Hannah was. She was a true hero to me even though she was only there in the pages of the book.
Right off the bat, the plot and storyline are some of the book's many strengths. Another good thing that Yolen gives you is the plain knowledge and facts about concentration camps. She tells about the different types of labor and the horrible conditions of the concentration camps. After reading this book, I had a whole other view of the insanities and inhuman conditions of the Nazis. I can really connect that to my life and appreciate every single thing I have, including time on this Earth.
My favorite part was during a scene with the midden:
"When they got to the midden, they skinned out of their clothes and dove naked into the dump."
I enjoyed this excerpt because it was funny how Hannah just stood there and watched. She was a true first-timer!
I think that the thing that the author would like me to take away from this book is just plainly the story of the Holocaust. She wants people to read her book and remember. Of course she wanted to tell a great story of survival and courage, but she only wants us to take away from this the story and knowledge of the Jewish experience.
This is one of the most memorable books I have ever read because of the fact that it was entertaining but still informing. The word choice that the author used really brought out clear pictures in my mind. The image was very powerful. You could not read this book and not be changed. It didn't have to be a big change. Only the way you look at your shoes. It is a meaningful book.
I recommend this book to people who really want to take something away from what they read and who care about their history. This book's theme is; if you don't appreciate what you have now, history has a way of showing itself to you! The evidence is the way Hannah was brought back in time. She was so changed by her experience and learned to appreciate life and what she had.
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