The Big Lie: A True Story
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The Big Lie: A True Story

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  175 ratings  ·  30 reviews
A survivor's tale for young fans of The Diary of Anne Frank and Zlata's Diary relates the actual experiences of Isabella Leitner, a young Jewish-Hungarian woman, in March of 1944. Reprint. AB.
Paperback, 79 pages
Published November 1st 1994 by Apple
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What interests me about this book is how matter of fact she tells so many of the events that happened in her life, such as the arrival at Auschwitz when Dr. Mengele directed people off the cattle cars either to the left or right. "Those sent to the left by Dr. Mengele, like Mama and Potyo, were sent directly to their deaths." (p. 46) It makes sense to me because she surely has to displace herself from much of it, or she would live her life in misery, never living beyond the atrocious events.

I ha...more
Excellent quick read for Holocaust studies! Extremely appropriate for 5th graders and has a really well-written, comprehensive epilogue about the entire time period.
ummary: This is a true story of an Hungarian Jewish girl and her family during the time of World War II. The Nazis had invaded Europe and were relocating all of the Jews to Nazi death and concentration camps. Isabella Leitner, her mother, 3 sisters, and brother were among those placed in these camps. Isabella relates her experiences of the deaths of her mother, two sisters, and friends. In her own small way she was able to fight the German Nazis and "The Big Lie" by simply staying alive for the...more
This was my first book about the Holocaust. I read it in first or second grade, and I remember being so horrified that I wrote in pen on the inside cover, "Hannah Gomez hates Hitler!" I still have the book.
Sarah Sawyer
I enjoyed this book, learning about the history of the world through the eyes of a child. It's a very different perspective to hear it from a child and not an adult. Very well written book, an easy read for children who are interested in history. Adults, please be aware that this is a children's book.
Isabella was living in a small Hungarian town in 1944, when the Nazis took her, her sisters and brother, and her mother to the trains for deportation. Despite being in Auschwitz and Birnbaumel before escaping during a death march to Bergen-Belsen, Leitner, two of her four sisters, and her brother survived to join their father in the US as the war wound down.

Told in a very simple way, this 79-page chapter book is a good step between picture books and novels for students with developing vocabulary...more
Lindsay Allison
This story was one I read over and over as a child/preteen. There was a time when I was obsessed with World War II and would read any story - fiction or not - I could get my young hands on. The great thing about this book was that it relates the horrific events of World War II in a way that a child can understand without being overtly graphic.

The story of this family and their move from a nice house to a concentration camp and eventually to freedom in America is both moving and heartbreaking. Th...more
An excellent read a loud for upper elementary/middle school students when discussing the holocaust. Gives a good introduction into what happened without getting too graphic.
Shannon Clark
A simple recount of the horror that the Jews faced during Hitler's reign.
Apr 03, 2014 Marion added it
Great short YA memoir about the Nazi occupation and a family's survival -
Eva Leger
Apr 10, 2010 Eva Leger rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: younger children - pre-teens maybe?
Recommended to Eva by: found on PBS
As of yet I haven't found a better book to introduce the Holocaust to younger children. This may be suitable for children even younger than pre-teens but as I'm not sure I don't want to make that statement.
Leitner is a talented author and that shows even in this bare minimum story. I'll probably keep this for my daughter for when she's an appropriate age and I wish someone had handed me this when I was younger. Maybe I would have had this interest long before now and I can't imagine all the boo...more
Well, I bought this thinking it might be something to read with a class of teenagers but it was obviously wrongly advertised as it addresses a far younger public - in a way. Of course the subject matter is not for the very young. I guess I was disappointed by the succintness of this - pretty much just the bones of the events, without much else. The best bit is probably the afterword which provides a fairly thorough and concise summary of the holocaust and surrounding events.
This book was so good.this book talks about A girl and her family livening during the holocaust.I remember reading this book when I was 10 in fourth grade.I was so in to the holocaust back then now I just think I spent a month researching that junk!!!!!!but like I was saying that it was about a girl who had to stay a live during this time. While this is happening the dad I in American.but my question is where was Hitler during this book?

This book is a good introduction of the Holocaust to young readers. The author details the atrocities that took place in a matter of fact and simple way that teaches the truth about Nazi Germany without being too scary for the age group that it is intended for. Very worthwhile read for 3-5 graders interested in history.
A very simple telling of the Holocaust from the perspective of a young Hungarian girl, the book is both moving and informative. I would use this during a social studies class to give students a quick view of life in a concentration camp. Very simple sentence structures make this a good book for ESOL students.
An excellent book to help students understand what the Jewish people went through in Hitler's reign of terror. Author helps the reader truly grasp the reality the Jews faced.
Jan 21, 2010 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone age 8 and up
Recommended to Becky by: Mr. McGillis, 3rd Grade Teacher
I read this in 3rd grade, and it was one of the first times I was exposed to the holocaust as it actually happened. I was very captivated. I reread it when I was older, and it was still just as good and honest. Very short, and very worth the time.
A short story of a woman's survival w/her three sisters as they survive the last year of the war in Aushwitz and Bergen Belsen.
Good short story for youth and someone who might not want all the details of the Holocaust.
This is a book written for children that gives as overview of the suffering of Isabella Leitner's Jewish family during WWII. Even watered down, the stories she tells are chilling and heartbreaking.
Julian Benavidez
It was crazy how they had to walk to different concentration camps in blizzard conditions.I liked how the author is very descriptive and very understandable.
The story of Isabella Leitner's survival of the Holocaust. Her tragic journey from Poland to Aushwitz. Sad and Touching!
I read this book and I cried, because what the Nazis did to Isabella 's family was unforgettable and really hurtful.
Laurie D'ghent
A Holocaust book that shows the sadness inherent in the actions of the Nazis without unadulterated hate.
Jamie Mosher
it was better than the blind side... and easier (: a lot more interesting than football loll (:
Amie Sergio
Easy read chapter book. Discusses the life and strength of a Holocaust survivor.
Basically, a child appropriate version of "Night." Jr. High level.
May 15, 2013 Lilia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: lilia
I read it and its awesome can u read it on here

A well written children's book on the Holocaust.
Oct 11, 2013 S'mone added it
it was very good
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