RECOMMENDED
FOR JULY

CURRENTLY READING:

FEATURED ARTICLES

NEWEST BOOK REVIEWS

The Librarian of Auschwitz (Graphic Novel) : A Librarian’s Perspective Review

The Librarian of Auschwitz graphic novel is based on an adult title of the same name. The topic is difficult, as are some of the illustrations, but this book is great for high school libraries. The illustrations are historically-accurate to life in concentration camps and help underscore how desperate life in Auschwitz was. Highly-recommended for Grades 8+.

AUTHOR: Salva Rubio (Adapted by), Antonio Iturbe, Lilit Žekulin Thwaites (Translator)
ILLUSTRATOR: Loreto Aroca
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Godwin Books
PUBLICATION DATE: January 3, 2023
PAGES: 144
GENRE: graphic novel, nonfiction, world history
SETTING: Czechoslovakia and Poland (Auschwitz concentration camp)
GIVE IT TO: Grades 8+

AWARDS AND KUDOS

none as of April 2023

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY OF THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ

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.

THE SHORT VERSION

The Librarian of Auschwitz graphic novel is a great addition to high school libraries.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ

The Librarian of Auschwitz is based on a true story. I had not heard of Dita Kraus prior to reading this graphic novel. I love that this was based on a true story of an unsung teen hero. Dita was courageous in the face of real danger and threat to her life. She was afraid, but she didn’t let her fear control her actions.

I love that books are precious. We are facing censorship in the USA, where some individuals, groups, and politicians are pushing to censor or ban books from schools. While this has always happened to some extent, the increase of it is alarming to those of us who value the freedom to read.

Worse, this push – which especially affects LGBT+ and civil rights history books for young people – has political teeth from newly-passed state and local laws. School boards are also bowing to these attempts to censor content in schools. With the potential for prosecution in some states, it’s a scary time to be a librarian and teacher.

So Dita’s story will be an important one for teachers and school librarians. This graphic novel is based on an adult novel, which I already put on-hold in OverDrive. I’m excited to read the full novel version of Dita’s story.

Also, this book doesn’t hold back when it comes to the horrors of the Holocaust. Dita experiences the deaths of both her parents in the concentration camps. The illustrations show children experiencing the Holocaust, right along with adults. This includes images of nude women and girls in the “showers.” There is also a disturbing image of a pit of dead, naked bodies. The images are jarring, as they should be.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ

I loved the entire graphic novel. This is a true story, and it isn’t pretty. Teen readers need to know about the Holocaust, and the graphic novel format of this book will help bring the Holocaust to a larger audience.

DIVERSITY

All characters are European Jews. Dita and her parents are Czech Jews.

ARTWORK/ILLUSTRATIONS

Illustrations are realistic, with lots of blues and browns. Some images are disturbing, but they are necessary and honest for this topic.

THEMES

  • Holocaust, Nazis, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Auschwitz, books, book banning, censorship, oppression, fear, death of both parents, librarians

LIBRARIANS WILL WANT TO KNOW

  • Would adults like this book? YES – it may lead some adults to read the adult novel
  • Would I buy this for my high school library? YES – no reservations
  • Would I buy this for my middle school library? YES – with reservations for nudity in the concentration camp “showers” and while being interrogated by Nazi officers
  • Would I buy this for my elementary school library? NO – it’s too mature for elementary

MATURE CONTENT

  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: none
  • Violence: Nazis beat men, women, and children; deaths due to illness and starvation; constant fear and threats from soldiers and Nazi doctor (Mengele)
  • Drugs/Alcohol: none
  • Other: a few illustrations with nudity – it’s historically accurate and helps underscore the brutality of the Nazi soldiers. Breasts and pubic hair are visible but not detailed. Also, there is one illustration of a mass grave of naked bodies, but the drawings are not very detailed.

MORE BOOKS LIKE THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ

MORE YA BOOK REVIEWS ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop