Cover Image: The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic Novel

The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic Novel

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Member Reviews

I haven’t read the book that this graphic novel is adapted from but I do have it in my middle school library and know that it’s quite long. Perhaps that’s why this feels like something was missing or that it was a little rushed. I think this is an important Holocaust story to be shared but I think I was expecting it to give a little more than it did.
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Reading this book was a profound experience.  Told through the eyes of Dita and based on her true experience as a teenager surviving Auschwitz was intense but so well handled.  Discussing the Holocaust, its causes and its depth of inhumanity must be done with the utmost care.  This is such an important book but I would recommend it for an older audience, perhaps as a YA read.
The illustrations are disturbing and right on target.    This is a novel that everyone should read so, as the saying goes, history will not be repeated.  So well done-
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This book does exactly what the it is intended to do.  It makes the reader want to learn more about Dita and all she went through at Auschwitz and during World War II.  It is so lovely to see such a story about preservation.  Auschwitz was so much about ripping everything away from people and making them into nothing, and it is lovely to see how even a small group of people were able to come preserve themselves, their culture, and their histories.  Books are so important, but even having living books is so important.  One never knows where they are going unless they know where one has been.  Listening and taking in peoples stories makes them even more alive for then they live on in others.  I love Dita’s role.  I love that her passion of books allowed her to become something more. 
	Thank you so much to Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for allowing such a graphic novel to be made.  I hope it truly inspires readers to want to learn more.  Thank you also to Netgalley for allowing me to have access to an early copy of this title.
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This graphic novel is based on the book of the same name.   Dita, a 14 year old girl is sent to Auschwitz with her family.  It is there that she becomes a librarian for the few illegal books that are in their possession.  What a powerful story of a young girl and the tragedies she endured.
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Disclaimer, I haven't read the novel and I wasn't familiar with holocaust tragedy (sorry)

This story is based on real history, from the holocaust survivor who became the main character in this book. I understand that this graphic novel is only potraying a small friction of the novel, let alone the real event. But oh God, horrible is an understatement. I can't imagine that atrocity really happened in the past, and the idea of the terror they had to endure saddened me.

But I think there's some part of this graphic novel where the scenes weren't directly connected so as a person who haven't read the novel, it confused me. Maybe I'll read the novel sometime later.
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Heartbreaking and necessary story. I know this graphic novel will be a hit in my library, as historical fiction is always popular. This story tells the story of 14 year old Dita, who is tasked with not only surviving the daily atrocities of Auschwitz, but also being the keeper of a small collection of books : the Library of Auschwitz.
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This graphic novel is based on a book of the same name. Dita is a 14 year old girl that has been sent to Auschwitz along with her family.  She takes care of the few books that the Jewish people have managed to hide. The story follows her survival.
I really enjoyed the graphics and the vivid art. The issues I have are with a few scenes. There is some nudity even though no actual inappropriate parts are shown. There was a confusing scene where the images are very dark and Dita seems to be curled up. I think it was discussing people being transferred out but actually being killed. It was not very clear. I might suggest this being YA instead of middle grade just because of content.
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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. An amazing graphic novel. Rich colors on the drawings of this novel. Dita is a very strong and emotional 14 year old character. You get to grow with her through challenging times. The magic and richness of books has always been her guardians. This is an excellent novel for any age and will definitely be remembered.
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I loved reading comics as a kid and I wasn't above reading a Classic Comic or two or maybe more instead of the book the comic was based on. In school, I was an undiagnosed dyslexic and reading was sometimes difficult. So it stands to reason that as an adult and a teacher, I'm a big fan of books done in graphic format. They are just what some readers need instead of a large and for them, for whatever reasons, unwieldy novel. And for others, they are just a fun way to read. But, the graphic needs to be well done, and in today's world, most of the time, they are. Which is why is pains me to say that I did not like The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic Novel.
This graphic novel is the same story as the novel by the same name and written by Antonio Iturbe, so I'm not going to summarize it again. Suffice it to say it is the story of teenage Dita Adlerova, who was first sent to the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia with her parents and other Jews, and who were all later transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau. There, they were living in a separate area of Birkenau, called BIIb and referred to as the Theresienstadt Family Camp. These Jewish prisoners were allowed to keep their clothing and their hair wasn't shaved, though living conditions were still as deplorable as in other parts of Auschwitz. If you haven't read the novel, you can read what I originally wrote HERE. The novel is a big book but one that is totally worth spending time with, IMHO. 

Back to the graphic. First, let me begin by saying I did like the art. I found the full color cells were clearly and cleanly drawn in such a way that it was easy to follow the story. The illustrator did a great job at capturing the full range of intense emotions felt by the prisoners of Auschwitz as well as the hate and disgust exhibited by their Nazi captors. Interestingly, none of the characters, Jewish, gay, or Nazi, were portrayed as stereotypical. 


And it wasn't so much that I found the graphic novel to be bad, just lacking. I read the novel back in 2017 and so I'd forgotten some details. Reading the graphic, I found myself confused about a few of the things that went on in Auschwitz and that impacted the main character, Dita, personally. I also didn't feel the importance of the eight books that made up the library was made plain, and how Dita so lovingly cared for them, nor did I feel the reverence with which the borrowers of these books felt for them. 

Some of the characters, like Dita and Fredy Hirsch, as based on the actual people, and of course, so are some of the Nazis like Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele, known as the Angel of Death for his experiments of the prisoners in Auschwitz. There is a great epilogue at the end of the book that does go into detail not just about what happened and the people involved.

Ultimately, though, I found this version of The Librarian of Auschwitz to be simplistic and a little stiff. I realize that taking a large novel and synthesizing it down to just 144 pages is not easy task and this was a valiant effort. It just didn't work for me.
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The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic Novel
by Antonio Iturbe
A clear description of the practices of the Third Reich and their exploitation of international law during the events of Auschwitz. Shows the personal struggle of a young girl and her family trying to survive during this dark age. Her struggles and hardships, her losses, and the triumphs facing the most devastating machine of war and propaganda.  The illustration is stark and realistic even in comic form. Its as story that needs to be shared, and understood so that these terrible events do not happen again.
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It was never my intention to read the novel of this book. I am not into books that will make me cry if I’m choosing for myself. However, when a graphic novel edition came along, I had to snap it up and give it a read. This book was exactly what I was expecting. It was gut retching, heartbreaking, sad, and very true to life. While this is a fictional story it is based on a real-life person who survived the child’s camp at Auschwitz and acted as a librarian while there. The love of books helped her survive a drastic portion of her life and we are better people for knowing her history and the atrocities that happened. This book was the first time I had ever heard there were specialty children’s camps. It’s not something readily talked about so this book did its job and brought to life new facts of history not seen elsewhere.
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I received and ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Content: mature themes, concentration camp nudity, recommended for 13+

I haven't read the novel that this is based off of, but I'd like to. Having grown up in West Germany with a US Army father who patrolled the border between East and West, the history of concentration camps has always been of interest to me. I learned a few things from this graphic novel that I hadn't known previously, which I always appreciate. The story is very well told in graphic form and the art is fantastic.
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This graphic novel was very profound. Dita’s dedication to saving books for those around her is a great reminder of why librarians are so important.
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I struggled with this graphic novel only because I found it in the middle grade section and I don’t know if it is appropriate for that age group.  I thought it was in many ways better than the novel. If it was put in a Young Adult category, I would be more willing to give it a more favorable rating. There were two portions that I felt were lacking. The portion where Dita is overwhelmed with the events and the pages are darkened and her friend dies along with the abrupt ending could have been more clear.
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TW: antisemitism, death, genocide, holocaust, murder, nazis, parental deaths

Representation: The main character is Dita Kraus, a currently living Holocaust survivor. She is Jewish. There is a gay side characters. 

This is a graphic novel based on the life of the currently living Holocaust survivor Dita Kraus. This was an accurate and emotional depiction of the realities of the Holocaust, and they represented the book and Dita's story well. While it is toned down quite a bit compared to the novel as it's aimed for children, I think this is a good introduction to the horrors of Nazism. It's crucial to keep stories like this alive, especially as states, schools, and libraries around the US are banning our stories. 

It shows what it meant to be a child before the Holocaust, how life changed before being sent to concentration camps, and how brave you must be to survive. They discuss how, for just a few seconds, people sought an escape from their lives through music, plays, and reading. Everyone had a job and Dita found hers as the librarian. Her job was to ensure the few contrabanded books in Auschwitz were hidden from Nazis to prevent the deaths of her and everyone in her camp. She read books and put herself in danger by protecting the books at all cost. She was incredibly brave and it was fascinating to see that, especially knowing she was real and is alive. 

The art in this was perfect. The artist captured the various faces of Jews in a way that is accurate and respectful. It's far too common for very negative and outdated stereotypes of us to leech its way into art about Jewish people, whether that's intentional or not. That's something I'm also cautious about when it comes to visual depictions of us, and I'm glad that it was done well. 

I recommend also reading Maus by Art Spiegelman. It's aimed for an older audience (I'd say PG-13 would be an accurate rating if this was compared to PG) It's an essential graphic novel that truly changed the world of comic book storytelling.
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A visually appealing and narratively engaging story in comics form. I highly recommend this graphic novel for young (and adult) readers — and it’s a wonderful classroom resource.
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This book was a really Interesting read. I think that it is important for everyone learn about the Holocaust as much a possible. I would not reccomend this book to my students (I teach 6th grade). Most of my students don’t even know what the holocaust is, so I think that this would be a good read for them in highschool  or older. This book has lots of death, nudity, sexual assault might be difficult for some readers.
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While I didn’t care for the original book, I actually genuinely enjoyed it as a graphic novel. I feel like the author of the print book spent too much time on things that were easier expressed in graphics, and the translation was off considerably. I still think the story of Dita is impressive, likewise that of Fredy Hirsch. But I think this is the better way to tell it, for sure.
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I am so glad they developed this into a graphic novel! It will be more accessible to more ages this way. 
This was such a great book as a novel when in read it and I think they did a great job turning it into a graphic novel. 
Many know of the horrific things that happened during WWII aren't know to students and this is a great way to show it. 

I can't wait to share this with the students at my library.

Thanks NetGalley for this ARC!
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What a great graphic novel! Heart breaking but breathtaking story! I think this format will appeal to middle and high school readers. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review!
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