The Librarian of Auschwitz

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Oct 2017

Member Reviews

Writing a story set during the Holocaust can be really tricky and this one didn't work for me. The tone felt a bit too disconnected for some reason, possibly the translation, but I just didn't get into it.
Was this review helpful?
This book will take you on a very interesting adventure!
Was this review helpful?
This was a great novel to read about the people of Auschwitz and how a library was created.   i didn't know about The library or family camp before reading this novel.  The characters of the book, dita  particularly, show such bravery again and again.  My heart ached reading this novel and I will definitely recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
The Holocaust is always such a difficult topic to read about, but many authors have had great success in bringing this horrific time in history to readers. The Librarian of Auschwitz had such potential, but it just seemed mechanical. I don’t know if the emotion of the time and topic was lost in the translation, or if the writing was simply lacking passion. I rated it a 4 because I truly was moved by Dita and her strength. I appreciate the publisher and NetGalley giving me an opportunity to be an early reader in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Not only is it wonderful to find a book that I know our students in grade 8 would be excited to choose for their novel study on war, it's exciting to have such a well written book to share with all the grades at the school. We have quite a number of students who are interested in books set in World War 2 so it's a win win. Great book to be able to recommend to all students that also happens to cover a year round interest of all students at the school!
Was this review helpful?
I'd have to give about 3-1/2 stars on this one. There were many parts of the book that were moving, heartbreaking, terrifying, and more. But there were also many factual interjections -- trying to put a non-fiction face on this work of historical fiction -- that just didn't flow, just didn't work. Those portions sounded like they were cut-and-pasted from a mediocre social studies textbook. And that really ruined the flow of the narrative. A defter hand would have made this element work, and then the book would have been much more successful for me.
Having said all that, this was a book that I wanted to finish, because I wanted to know if this brave young woman survived the Holocaust.
Was this review helpful?

I knew that this book was going to break my heart by the time I had finished the first page. I mean, for one thing, I had absolutely NO IDEA about the family camp in Auschwitz, so this book led me down a whole tunnel of research because I wanted to know everything about it. The entire premise just makes me shutter, but then again, everything about concentration camps does that (for good reason). 

This book is a bit on the slow side, storywise, but the subject matter is so good and the stakes so high, that it didn't bother me. It's a loooooong book, but there is a lot of interesting information and even though I had an inkling as to how it would end, I couldn't tear myself...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
A beautifully written and translated story that truly epitomizes the importance of education in our culture's survival.  This novel looks at an aspect of the Holocaust rarely chronicled and brings to light the lengths that a group of people struggling with their own survival went to to ensure the safety of their cherished books.  A true masterpiece.
Was this review helpful?
Historically based WWII concentration camp event of a special project that allowed Jewish children to attend school with a hidden "library". Heart warming, intriguing and sad!!
Was this review helpful?

This was a fabulous read about a brave young girl not only defying the odds by surviving in a concentration camp but hiding books from the SS guards so that the prisoners in her section could continue to learn and hope. The book wasn’t just about Dita, the librarian of Auschwitz, there were other true stories interspersed throughout the story. There were the teachers that continued to teach the children, the infamous Dr. Mengle that performed horrible experiments on Jewish prisoners, and Rudi Rosenberg, a prisoner who attempts to escape. All these stories are true stories and are ingeniously woven together. As with most Holocaust stories, there are some tough parts to read, but I feel...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe tells the story of Dita Krauss, who acted as a librarian in Auschwitz (where books were forbidden), and how she coped. The story tell about the a harrowing look at what life was like in a concentration camp.

Dita Kraus, a fourteen-year-old, is imprisoned at Auschwitz with her parents. In Auschwitz, Dita and her parents lived in the family camp, known as Block 31. Dita was put in charge of eight precious books smuggled inside. It was a small collection. some were stained. Some were falling apart at the spine. The books helped the prisoners hang on to their humanity.

This book is an important work of historical fiction, detailing a dark time in...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

The Librarian of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Dita Adlerova and her time in Auschwitz concentration camp. Dita was only nine years old when the war started and her family was forced to leave Prague for the Terezin ghetto and then Auschwitz. They were placed in the “family camp” of Auschwitz, an experimental camp set up for when Red Cross inspectors came. Dita became the librarian of the eight books smuggled into the camp and used to teach the children.

This is primarily Dita’s story of survival, but it also touches on others in the camp. Freddy Hirsch is the director of the school in the family camp. He is a young German Jew struggling with the fact that he is a homosexual, but...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

The Librarian of Auschwitz is a beautifully written story of a teenaged girl, living in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Dita, a lover of books, volunteers to be the librarian at the camp where she is a prisoner. The roll of librarian gives her purpose and she is serious about keeping the precious few forbidden books safe. Her story is one of deplorable conditions and atrocities no child should ever witnesses. Even though she is only a teenager, she is a very important person to many in the camp. When things are worse than most can imagine, Dita risks her life to make things better for others.
This was a difficult, heartwrenching story to read. The realistic, straightforward writing was graphic and...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
A heartbreaking and emotional insight into the Auschwitz concentration camp at the height of the Holocaust. Well-written and compelling, The Librarian of Auschwitz keeps you on your toes and fully engages your empathy for every character.
Was this review helpful?
As time passes and Holocaust survivors pass away, it becomes more and more important to pass on their stories. This does that and more.
Was this review helpful?

In short, a very powerful, multi-faceted story that I highly recommend for teens and adults.

This is an amazing story that encompasses several themes. No matter how many stories about the Holocaust I read or hear, I will never stop being shocked at the horror, cruely, and depravity that went on during that period. This book clearly depicts that, yet it also shows some glimpses of "normal" life that went on even amidst the horror, such as the eternal conflict between teenagers who think they are ready to be adults and their parents who want them to stay children just a little bit longer, friendships, gossip, and even love blooming between young couples, daring to dream of a future...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Stories about Auschwitz and Nazi Germany are some of my favorite. Not because they are wonderful stories filled with happiness and joy, but because the reality of that situation is insightful and interesting to read about. Horrifying as well. The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe was fascinating. It was an inside look at the life of those who lived in the camps, dealt with the every day struggle of staying alive, and tried to find the small bright spots in a very gloomy world.

Iturbe told a real life story in a way that read like fiction instead of documentary style. This real life experience Antonio went through was put into a story that anyone would find interesting to read...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Iturbe, Antonio The Librarian of Auschwitz, 432 pages. Translated by Lilit Zekulin. Henry Holt (Macmillan), 2017. $20. Language: R (25+ swears, 2 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG (innuendos of prostitution); Violence: PG-13 (Holocaust tortures, deaths)

When Dita and her family are moved from the walled Terezin ghetto to the barracks of Auschwitz, Dita finds a place for herself in Alfred Hirsch’s secret classes for the children of Auschwitz. Her job is to care for the eight printed books and the “living” books (teachers who can tell a vivid remembered story of a book) that the prisoners managed to sneak pass the guards. Interwoven with the story of Dita and the books are the atrocities and...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
The holocaust is always a difficult topic to talk about but it is a very important one that more students need to know about I feel.  This book does a perfect job of making you feel for the main character and put you in the face of real events.
Was this review helpful?