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Prisoner B-3087 - Alan Gratz

Standard disclaimer: So I got a review copy of this book for free. They didn’t give be an envelope full of $50 bills with it, just the book (and an electronic copy at that.) I don’t even have to write a review, although people who send you free books tend to think that’s nice. And usually I am nice.

Prisoner B-3087 tells the story of Yanek Gruener, who was unfortunate enough to be young and Jewish in 1940s Germany. After watching his family get taken by the Nazis he is also shipped off to one of the camps.

Through several twists and turns he finds himself bounced from camp to camp, often just missing being one of the victims who pays with their life. Sometimes he comes close to giving up all hope but always finds a reason to persevere.

Ultimately when he is in the 10th camp within three years he is liberated by the Allies. He goes on to give a nice epilogue for the rest of his life.

This book is clearly written for kids in the middle-school age range. The writing style is very easy to digest and doesn’t have a lot of flowery exposition. That isn’t to say that it wasn’t an engaging book as an adult, because it was pretty decent even for me.

The only thing that I actually was disappointed about with the book was learning at the end that some parts of it may have been fictionalized. My review copy was electronic, so I am not sure if the physical book is more upfront about it, but just a minor quibble.

If you know someone young (or are young yourself) and want to get a clear view of some of the terrors people felt in the concentration camps, this book is definitely worth a read.