Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsburg at Unleashing Readers cohostIt's Monday! What are You Reading weekly on their blogs. To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to head over to these blogs.
During parent conference week, our school hosted our annual Scholastic Book Fair and one of my students brought this new book to my attention. It was just published in March and is still available only in hardcover in the stores, but is available in paperback through Scholastic. After reading the blurb, I immediately knew I needed to read this book and would love it so I was so lucky one of my former students bought it for me! Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz is a historical fiction book based on the true story of Jack Gruener. I love books based on true stories!
In this story, Yanek Gruener (Jack Gruener) lives in Poland in the late 1930's with his family when the Nazis invade and take over. After not being allowed to go to school, having to hide with his family in cramped spaces, having curfews, seeing neighbors get shot on the street for no reason by the Nazis, Yanek never knew it could get worse…but it does. Yanek is separated from his family and sent to a concentration camp, but he never loses his determination to survive. Over the next six years of his life, he has to endure pain and horror in ten different concentration camps! Throughout these ten concentration camps, you can feel his pain and agony as the reader and want so badly to reach out into the pages of the book to help him.
At the end of the book, Alan Gratz includes an afterword that explains which scenes were taken directly from Jack Gruener's personal experiences during the Holocaust. Jack Gruener lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and he still bears the tattooed number he was given by the Nazi's.
In fifth grade, we have a historical fiction book club unit in reading workshop and I will definitely be ordering more copies of this book so a book club can read it!
Enjoy reading this week!