Translated by Lilit Thwaites
First Published in Spain by Editorial Planeta in 2012
4 out of 5 stars
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.
I was sent a copy of this book from Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not impact my thoughts on the book.
This was such an inspiring read, I was all the more moved by how it was based partially on the author’s communication with Dita Kraus, real life Librarian of Auschwitz, of whom we follow in this book. I felt like I could clearly picture everything that was being described, at times this was so harrowing, for the book describes some horrific details of what occured in Concentraction Camps, and what happened to the occupants. At times, I found myself having to close the book and just process what I’d read, it was so brutal and I just ached for Dita and her mother, and the other characters. The lack of humanity is pretty devastating throughout this book, the lack of care for human life is definitley tragic, but to say I have come away from this book moved to my core is definitley true, I mean, Dita sacrificed so much! She risked her life daily to ensure scraps of books were taken to the Teachers, so that the students could still learn whilst in the Camps, she concealed the books under her dresses and was constantly warned and investigated, I was and am in awe of this woman! I definitley want to read more about her now, having finished this.
I definitley recommend this book, for history lovers, or anyone that’s looking for an inspiring read!
Thank you again Pan Macmillan Australia for the review copy, until next time, happy reading,