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Prisoner B-3087

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  2,382 ratings  ·  553 reviews
Survive. At any cost.

10 concentration camps.

10 different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly.

It's something no one could imagine surviving.

But it is what Yanek Gruener has to face.

As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the mercy of the Nazis who have taken over. Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have been snatched brutally from him.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Scholastic Inc.
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Nov 04, 2013 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Anna by: Google
I first read about Jack Gruener in the book Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust.

Jack survived a ghetto, TEN concentration camps, and TWO death marches. I didn't really get into the book until a few chapters in, but once I was in, I was hooked. The chapters are divided by camps. Each chapter begins with a page, blank except with the name of the new camp Jack is transferred to. After one death march and about seven camps, I was thinking, "WHEN DOES THIS END??" not because it was
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
Actual Rating: 1.75

The story of Yanek Gruener is not an outstandingly unique one. His story, or at least something akin to his, has been told numerous times in the past, under different names of course. Nevertheless, I seem to be attracted to reading these sorts of stories even though I know how everyone of them ends.

I picked this one up mostly because of the title and the cover. It's sort of beautiful in a very plain and morbid way. It looks similar to a graphic novel's cover I read a while ag
Harry Brake
You know of Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank, and Oskar Schindler, or do you? After attending a crucial seminar in the study of the Holocaust in Delaware, attending the Holocaust Museum, studying the Holocaust at the University of Delaware for a summer, and continuing to return to the very heart of why knowing about the Holocaust is so important, this text does not add any more depression to the theme of the Holocaust, it simply adds to the motivation to educate more and more generations about why this i ...more
Tara Anderson
Yanek Gruener is ten years old, Jewish, and living in Poland in the late 1930's. One day, the Nazis take over his town and Yanek's journey through the Jewish ghetto and ten different concentration camps begins. Yanek watches as everything, and everyone, he loves is taken away from him. There's no escape -- only survival. Every time Yanek barely escapes death, every time he watches the Nazi's brutally murder those around them, he pledges to fight by living to carry on the memory of those who were ...more
Alex Baugh
Imagine surviving 1 ghetto, 10 concentration camps and 2 death marches. Well, here is the story of a boy who did just that.

At 10 years old, Yanek Gruener's life means friends, school and most importantly, being surrounded by loving relatives all living in the center of Krakow, Poland. But his relatives know that soon something is going to happen - after all, they are Jews in a Europe that Hitler wants to make "Jew free." Sure enough, only six days after the German invasion of Poland, Nazi soldie
Margo Tanenbaum
Recommended for ages 12 and up.

This new Holocaust novel by author Alan Gratz is based on the true story of Yanek Gruener, a Jewish boy living in Krakow whose comfortable, middle-class life is turned upside down when the Nazis take over his country in 1939. The title, of course, refers to the number tattooed by the Nazis on his arm at one of the ten concentration camps he managed to survive. In fact, survival at all cost is the theme of this gripping and moving novel, told in the first person by
Curtis Dahlen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paige Y.
“If I had known what the next six years of my life were going to be like, I would have eaten more.
I wouldn’t have complained about brushing my teeth, or taking a bath, or going to bed at eight o’clock every night. I would have played more. Laughed more. I would have hugged my parents and told them I loved them.
But I was ten years old, and I had no idea of the nightmare that was to come.” (p. 2)

Yanek Gruener is a Jewish boy living in Poland in 1939, and his world is about to come crashing dow
Mar 20, 2014 Conner marked it as to-read
Prisoner B-3087 is a very good book in my opinion. I thought it was very thrilling and there was always a surprise around the corner. Prisoner B-3087 is about a young boy named Yanek Gruener who lives with his Jewish family in Poland during the time of WWII. One day, the Nazis invade his flat and take everything that is valuable. Radio, gold, and Zloty (Polish currency). He and his family are left with very little ration cards. After a couple years, the Grueners have taken in many families off t ...more
Emma Witka
Prisoner B-3087 was the most gruesome book I ever read. The scariest part of it is that it happened to real people less than a hundred years ago. The story is about Yaneck Gruener, a Jewish boy living in a ghetto in Poland. The story goes through the 6 years of ghettos, concentration camps, starvation, and fear. Because it is a World War 2 book, it is very realistic and scary but for the right reasons. I feel like the book uncovered things that only someone in the camp would know and understand. ...more
Mike Bailey
"Yanek Gruener is the name that will live on, not just the Jew slave for the nazis, or prisoner B-087"

Yanek had a great life! Until the germAns started to take over. His dad always used to tell him "Just on more year son, one more year and the Americans will com to help" at least that was what he used to say. Yanek has been living in a "ghetto" most of his life but now the Germans call it "The Jew ghetto". The Germans would go around Germany searching for Jews, and they bring more and more to th
I highly recommend this book it is more of an historical fiction Yanek is telling about his life. Not all Jews survive but this lucky young boy made it through all death camps. After war he decided to move to America to get away from all the memories. After being in death camps and almost dying he is very grateful on what life has given to him. This book reminds me of Miss Peregrine's Home for peculiar children. Because Yanek is in the war and so is the grandfather in Miss Peregrine's Home for P ...more
Joey Crescio
Ms. Nagel
October, 20, 2014
Book Review of Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz
In the book Prisoner B-3087 the main character Jakub who twelve and is a boy living in germany with the normal life that any kid that age would have. But not for long before that all changes when their town is invaded by german soldiers. They are forced to have other families live with them and soon people start to dissapear. So Jakub and his mother and father live on the top of their apartment where they pu
Amanda Says
As I walked the empty streets of Podgórze, my chest felt heavy. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I hadn’t been gone long, and the last few years I had lived here had been a nightmare, but what I remembered wasn’t the snow shoveling and the shootings and the starvation. I remembered walking to the market with my mother. Visiting my father at work. Playing ball in the street with my friends. This neighborhood had been my home once, and it always would be, even after the “taint” of Jews had been s
Kyle Cochran
The novel Prisoner B-3087 is about a young jewish boy named Yanek trying to survive each concentration camp that he visited. Yanek lived in Poland in the 1930's when his family was taken from their home to go to labor camps and not long after, Yanek was taken too. In the concentration camps he worked in harsh conditions and learned how not to be noticed so he would not be killed. Yanek moved from camp to camp barely surviving each and every one. Yanek was beat, slapped, whipped, and hit in the h ...more
A truly fantastic Holocaust story based on real events. Jack or Yanek as he's referred to, is a Polish Jew when Hitler rises to power and the Jews are beginning to be quarantined, herded, and killed before the reality of concentration camps and inescapable desperation take hold. Yanek is on the verge of his bar mitzvah when the family takes refuge in a coop on the top of the apartment complex where he is taken in the dead of the night to a basement and given the rights to manhood through the cel ...more
Review originally posed in Teacher's Choice

I found this title from a blog I follow The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh when she reviewed it. I noted she received the book from NetGalley, so I immediately put in a request. It seemed like a book to add to my radar for the historical fiction research project. I was approved later that same day and started the book right away. I finished it in about 2 days.

Overall, I really liked this book. I was immediately pulled in with the idea that Yanek survive
I've read a lot of Holocaust literature over the past ten or so years, but Prisoner B-3087 is a little different to what I normally read in that it is a fictionalisation of a true survivors' story. And what a story it is.

Yanek Gruener isn't even a teenager when the Nazi's invade Poland, but he grows up in the fastest, most brutal way in a Ghetto, ten concentration camps and two Death Marches. Although the writing is fairly sparse and simplistic, in doing so Alan Gratz doesn't try and romanticise
Terri Lynn
I only wish I could have given this book 10 stars instead of 5. I discovered it when it was nominated for the 2013 Goodreads book awards and was drawn to it and voted for it. I felt disappointed when it was not a part of the final vote and instead some usual dumbed down crap won instead. Why do adults voting for middle grades books always think to vote for some stupid zombie romance or fart books instead of a high quality treasure like this?

Don't let it being a "juvenile" book turn you off. The
This is a very difficult review to write. Prisoner B-3087 reads as a retelling of what happened to Yanek Gruener as he faced horrible terrors in the ghettos, camps, and marches that so many Jews faced during WWII. I was so incredibly moved by everything that this young man went through, but then something happened that kind of broke the spell for me. This book is fiction, based on the life of Yanek Gruener, but not everything that happened in the story actually happened to him. Yes, they happene ...more
Survival without Apology

This is a fictional account of Jakob Gruener who survived the Holocaust as a child through TEN camps! The story is geared for 10-14 year old and it is through that prism I review this book.

It is very simply written which made the story extremely stark. The author does not use nor need extra words to convey the horror we see through 'Yanek's eyes'. He loses his family early after the Krakow Ghetto is liquidated and is essentially on his own for the next six years. The st
Gliterary Girl (Page Managed by Sara)
Reviewed by Sara O'Connor at

THE GIST: I am simply blown away. What a powerful account of a decade of death. And although this book is technically considered fiction, the stories are based on a real account. I have seen movies about the holocaust, I even spoke at length with an Auschwitz survivor, but I have never been shown that kind of pain through the eyes of a teenage boy. This book doesn't pull many punches and even though it isn't gory, it depicts a horrid atrocity wit
Miriam Matthews
I don't usually read books that are based during any war that actually happened in our history thus far. It's not so much that I don't want to know, but more that having studied it at school and the small tid-bits that I've read over the years are enough for me to know the horrors that occurred and that I will never understand what any of them, Jew, Nazi, Gypsy etc. alike, went through.

This book follows young Yanek, a Jewish boy who's home is one day invaded by the Nazi. At first he and his pare
Prisoner B-3087 is a piece of historical fiction that is going to cause young people to ask many questions. It is difficult enough to know that these kinds of things happened during Nazi rule in Europe, there are likely going to be some bright children who wonder why this book is fiction and not nonfiction. Here is where the details matter, and it is the details that make this a compelling story. The detail of losing a chunk of bread while helping a weaker prisoner continue to walk during a forc ...more

Standard disclaimer: So I got a review copy of this book for free. They didn’t give be an envelope full of $50 bills with it, just the book (and an electronic copy at that.) I don’t even have to write a review, although people who send you free books tend to think that’s nice. And usually I am nice.

Prisoner B-3087 tells the story of Yanek Gruener, who was unfortunate enough to be young and Jewish in 1940s Germany. After watching his family get taken by the Nazis he is also shipped off to one of
I thought this book was really compelling; I ended up reading the entire thing in one sitting. Yes, there are a billion books out there about the Holocaust, but I can't see that as a bad thing, and Gratz's message at the end of this one is all about the importance of remembering. I think a big part of that process is to continue writing about it for newer generations--I think sometimes it's easy to forget that children growing up now have not been exposed to anywhere near as much material about ...more
Arely L
Prisoner B-3087 is about a boy named Yanek Gruener who is suffering of war because the Nazis came and took all the Jewish. I recommend this book for readers who like to have adventures while reading also the people who like suspense! This book is very interesting because Yanek is forced to be a slave and he doesn’t know if his parents are alive. This book makes you realize back then how they used to treat other people that weren’t from your country it is a very good book. I can’t describe it bu ...more
I've read quite a few books about the Holocaust, my favorite being The Hiding Place. This book, Prisoner B-3087, was unlike the others I've read. The story of Yanek, who travels through ten concentration, stands out from others I've read. I had never heard of someone living through that many horrors. His story is heartbreaking and represents the million of other untold stories, buried long ago.

This is a wonderful read that will stick with you long after the final page has been turned.
This book is expected to be published March 2013. I hope it is because it is another good book to add to Holocaust units. The book is very easy to read. The horrors of the concentration camps are mentioned but are not graphic. So students who are interested in Holocaust stories but cannot deal with graphic details will be able to get through this one. Yanek's story is unique (I think) in that he survives 10 camps in six years before being rescued by the Allies at Dachau. Students will be able to ...more
Annie W.
This book was wonderful! The writing was powerful and beautiful! This book is based on a true story, and that makes it even more frightening than it already is. The strengths of this book are that it is very detailed and it is extremely suspensful. I would recommend this book to a classmate. I started reading it one night and just couldn't put it down. I finally finished that night, and didn't know what to do next because it felt like I was apart of that story. It was overall just a great book!
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Alan Gratz was born and raised in Knoxville, TN, home of the 1982 World's Fair. After a carefree but humid childhood, Alan attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned a College Scholars degree with a specialization in creative writing, and later, a Master's degree in English education.
In addition to writing plays, magazine articles, and a few episodes of A&E's City Confidential, Alan
More about Alan Gratz...
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“Your parents, Oskar and Mina. They are dead and gone now, Yanek, and we would grieve them if we could. But we have only one purpose now: survive. Survive at all costs, Yanek. We cannot let these monsters tear us from the pages of the world.” 7 likes
“If I had known what the next six years of my life were going to be like, I would have eaten more. I wouldn't have complained about brushing my teeth, or taking a bath, or going to bed at eight o'clock every night. I would have played more. Laughed more. I would have hugged my parents and told them I loved them. But I was ten years old, and I had no idea of the nightmare that was to come. None of us did.” 6 likes
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