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The Cage

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,976 Ratings  ·  241 Reviews

As long as there is life, there is hope

After Mama is taken away by the Nazis, Riva and her younger brothers cling to their mothere's brave words to help them endure life in the Lodz ghetto. Then the family is rounded up, deported to Auschwitz, and separated. Now Riva is alone.

At Auschwitz, and later in the work camps at Mittlesteine and Grafenort, Riva vows to live,
Paperback, 264 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Simon Pulse (first published 1986)
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Dec 11, 2012 Briana rated it really liked it
I have to say I am fascinated by the Holocaust. I have read a lot of Holocaust lit over the years and am just as moved, touched, startled, and emboldened as the very first one I read (Jacob's Rescue when I was about 9 years old). I find that as I get older what hits me the most has changed. When I was young I was always taken aback by the physical pain. I was able to sympathize with that; the hunger, cold, dirtiness, etc. but now that I am older I find what hits me more is the mental and emotion ...more
Jun 02, 2008 Speater rated it it was amazing
Haunting. I couldn't put it down. A young girl is forced to become a woman at an entirely too young age. The horrors of everyday life for Riva and her family are unimaginable. We should never ever forget what terrible things happened so that they won't ever happen again.
Jun 26, 2008 Anitra rated it it was amazing
This book makes me cry, no matter how many times I read it. This woman struggle through the jewish concentration camps is epic. A non fiction novel that I enjoy reading because it put life in prosective. A can't even tell you how gloriouse this book is.
Adriana Landeros
Oct 18, 2011 Adriana Landeros rated it really liked it
This book is about a young girl who loses her mother in a holocaust raid. She later gets separated from her younger siblings that she was responsible for ever since her mother was taken. Riva developed an infection in her hand from working in he concentration camp. She is treated by the kindness of the many officers of the concentration camp, even the commandant. Riva is freed from the concentration camp, she has a wonderful daughter that always asks her about her grandparents, Rivas parents. Th ...more
Oriyah Nitkin
It's hard to objectively rate (or review) a book you've read since it was age appropriate. As an adult I'd probably give it a star less, but when I first got this book I thought it was wonderful, and read it many times. Having holocaust literature coming at me from every angle for as long as I can remember, the story felt unremarkable (I feel so horrible saying that!) though now I see that she had some fairly miraculous experiences and with 20/20 hindsight I always wondered why the people in the ...more
Claudia Moscovici
Oct 05, 2014 Claudia Moscovici rated it liked it
The Lodz Ghetto: Review of The Cage by Ruth Minsky

In her Holocaust memoir, The Cage (Simon & Schuster, 1997), Ruth Minsky Sender compares the Lodz ghetto not to imprisonment of human beings, but to a cage that animals are trapped in. The metaphor is powerful and apt. A medium sized city in Poland, Lodz had a relatively large Jewish population. Out of the city’s nearly 700,000 occupants, about a quarter of million were Jews. The Germans established the Lodz Ghetto in February, 1940. They for
Emili Marin
Dec 20, 2012 Emili Marin rated it it was amazing
This book is about a thirteen year old girl who survived from the Holocaust. The girl was named Riva, and the three children. This book was a very good book, which it brought the sadness of the concentration camps. The book was getting fast when it did happened in real life. On the September 10th, 1942, which their mother had taken out of the ghetto during a Nazi raid. This book was quickly, which there were some action, which the officers would kill some Jewish, put in the gas chambers, some di ...more
Sep 02, 2013 Vanessa rated it really liked it
" When there is life, there is hope" is the quote that the teenage girl received from her mother before the nazis separated her from her mother and her brother, Riva is alone sent her to concentration camp. Life has just gone bad for the poor girl, not only is she alone and scared but she is sick. Going through many hospitals looking for help but only one caring hospital who subsided the fact that she was Jewish to keep her alive, all other hospitals not willing to help do to her Jewish backgrou ...more
Jun 14, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: war, nonfiction
I remember the 8th graders at my previous school read this book, and since I have a propensity for reading Holocaust novels, I finally picked this one up. This is an autobiographical account of Riva's life as a young girl in Lodz, Poland. Riva, her mother, and her three brothers live in a ghetto there at the start of World War II. Several older siblings had moved to Russia before the war started, and her father had died years prior. Riva's story mirrors those of other Holocaust novels I have rea ...more
As long as there is life, there is hope

I found this to be one of the most innocent memoirs of the holocaust that I have ever read. It was very clear that Sender suffered however I think she downplayed some of the eviler aspects of her imprisonment, as if she wants the world to know what truly happened but also wants to protect her readers from it at the same time. I wouldn’t give a young teen Night but I would give them this book. This book is defiantly a good introduction to the horrors of the
I am thankful that Riva/Ruth lived her mother's motto of "If there is life there is hope." Without her survival we would not have her account of life in the ghetto and in a labor camp.

Thank you Riva/Ruth for sharing your story with us.

Edited to add: I just finished this book again. We are reading it for our book club this month. I love the simple way Riva (Ruth) tells her story. There are so many times I choke up while reading this.

I love her story of trying to save the books that the Germans
Oct 13, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 20, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I rarely have never read a Holocaust book, and this is my first. I hesitated to read this book, because I would not want to have the same nightmares as the story would have. But with my homework being in my father's car, and 2 hours to spare, I begin reading the first chapter, which I must say, is absolutely enticing. Although I cannot say I absolutely love the ending, I do love the story, and the characters, and- and... Oh my, the tears are coming out again. It makes me horribly sad to just thi ...more
Jan 06, 2016 Brandy rated it it was amazing
A well written book. I really enjoyed this book. Ruth Minsky Sender does a great job of telling of her family struggles and survivals.
Nov 20, 2009 Elvin.e rated it really liked it
This book is called The Cage and this book is about a girl named Riva that she is by the nazis along with family and are sent to labor camps.Riva talks about the experience from the nazis and the things that ahpeened tp her such as when she got seperated from atleast half her family and some actually died too.The scene "Empty homes bid us their last good-bye."(p.138) is very interesting because Riva the girl in the book is leqaving her homeland along with some of her family and friends and its h ...more
Paula Howard
Apr 21, 2012 Paula Howard rated it it was amazing
The Cage is a wonderfully written book of the Holocaust. The Cage is the story of a Polish Jewish family with a brief glimpse into their live prior to the invasion by the Nazis. It follows their life as family members and friends are killed or taken away by the Nazis never to be heard from again. It covers their life in the Polish Ghetto to the concentration camps and finally liberation. It gives the reader into a glimpse into the the life of Jews outside of Germany. I am putting this book in ou ...more
Kayla Raschke
May 30, 2015 Kayla Raschke rated it it was amazing
The Cage by Ruth Minsky Sender is an emotional tale of a Jewish family living in Nazi occupied Poland. The character Riva, is thirteen at the time of occupation and narrates the haunting memories she has about her life and being Jewish during the Holocaust. Riva and her brothers have to cling on to their mother’s brave words as she was ripped apart from her children. Alone, they must survive the greatest fear of the Holocaust...concentration camps. With themes of hope and determination, The Cage ...more
Maddi Williams-Bishop
May 11, 2015 Maddi Williams-Bishop rated it really liked it
In the book, The Cage, by Ruth Minsky Sender, also known in the book as Riva Minska, is put through hard struggles and tragedies that only one religion would know.
This book covers about six years of her life, from 1939 to 1945. The event that was most significant to her was when she was let out of the labor camps and liberated by the Russian army.
Some things that I thought were interesting about what Riva went through was that the Minska family’s lifelong friends had turned on them because t
Charrissa Rucker
Feb 26, 2015 Charrissa Rucker rated it it was amazing
I read this book because I was interested in what happened during the time of the Holocaust. It was better than I thought it would be, a well written book. "The Cage" had a hint of romance in places here and there. There was a lot of suspense and action in it, the action was what was happening. It showed the ghettos that held the Jewish people and the book showed the girls' concentration camp. I felt so many different emotions when I read this book. It leaves you on the edge of your seat and suc ...more
Emma Gordon
Oct 12, 2014 Emma Gordon rated it really liked it
This amazing book was written by Ruth Minsky Sender. I have never read a book written by her before but after reading this book I think I will. This book grabs the readers attention from the start. There is really never a dull moment.
In the beginning she starts off telling you about what's is happening to her and her family, which is very tragic. Throughout the book she,Rina the main character, tells all her stories so vividly and detailed. She makes you feel like you are experiencing it with he
Sidney Czinder
Nov 11, 2014 Sidney Czinder rated it liked it
In the book, The Cage, by Ruth Minsky Sender, a young Jewish girl named Riva, and her family are living during the Holocaust. Being a Jew during this time comes with many issues; the Nazis, consetration camps, death. This is an unforgettable memoir of determination, courage, and unexpected kindness show in Riva's life.
This book is very suspensful and bitter. The 1940's was a terrible time for anyone different living in Europe. This book does not hold back the pain. If you like Holocaust books,I
Gracie VanLangevelde
Sep 29, 2015 Gracie VanLangevelde rated it really liked it
This was the first time I have ever read one of Ruth Minsky Sender's books and I plan on reading another one. It was a very emotional roller coaster. I felt angry, heartbroken, and content. The story was like opening a door into the holocaust. The main character, Riva, struggles so much. Her siblings and mother all split by the Nazi's.

Riva becomes the mother of Moishele, Motele, and Laibele when their mother is taken away. Riva is only in her teen years when this occurs. Having to take care of
Oct 24, 2014 Johvan rated it liked it
The Cage was a book about the perspective of a Jewish person during the Holocaust. In the beginning while the Nazis were taking over, there was a lot of betrayal in the Jew communities as they joined the Nazi's to avoid being killed. Reading the book I surprised me the way the Nazis treated the Jews. It was almost like the Jews were just their play toys. At certain points in the story they inhumanely tortured them, for example throwing hot soup on them because they were hungry. The story dragged ...more
Nicole J.
Apr 05, 2014 Nicole J. rated it really liked it
Shelves: form-1
The main message of in The Cage, by Ruth Minsky Sender, is to always hope even when times hit rock bottom. Riva Minksa tells her story of being in Lodz, Polland during the Holocaust. Riva and her family are living in a ghetto where one day her mother is taken by the Nazis and Riva has to take care of her brothers at 16 years old. They are reported of not having a guardian and they plead to not be separated. Riva becomes the mother of her three younger brothers. Laibele, the youngest of the three ...more
Christian Singer
Apr 05, 2014 Christian Singer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Holocaust was so horrific it's hard to believe it happened. Then there are books like The Cage that remind us that the atrocities committed against Jews really did happen. Riva Minska recorded her experiences during the Holocaust. When you're treated so inhumanely that you're in danger of losing your dignity and identity and, very likely, your life, how do you survive? It's hard to believe there can be moments of hope in such devastating times.

It's very difficult not to cry while reading Ri
Aug 08, 2015 Elise rated it really liked it
It was a quick read, the pages are short and the whole book is 240ish pages. I think it only took me 2 days to read because it was so gripping. I have read several holocaust books but this one is probably the one I would recommend to students the most. Not only does it deal with concentration camps but also with Jew's life in the ghettos. Riva, the main character, is such a strong character and her impact on others is so sweet in such a horrible time. If you like reading about this time period t ...more
Dec 28, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfic
Sender has a way of writing it makes you feel like you're there. You root for her and her brothers, you feel like you're right there in the ghetto with them, not knowing what will happen next, as they try to bear one horrible loss after another. They were close knit family that loved each other so much, which reminds you of your own loved ones. Senders experience of the actual camps is not as bad as others because she spent most of her time in a labor camp, and she actually had some moments when ...more
Feb 17, 2009 Julia rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 13, 2010 Lexidreams rated it liked it
I was surprised by how light this book was. Is that a bad thing to say? My father has a bookcase filled with holocaust literature. I've also read a few of Leon Uris' books so I was surprised to find that there isn't that much detail. I mean of course there is some, but nowhere near the amount that I've been made used to in the few holocaust books I've read. And they were enough. I come from a Jewish family, I've heard about the horrors that happened, and reading this book made me feel so very po ...more
Oct 18, 2009 Sensitivemuse rated it really liked it
I thought it was a good book. I'm assuming it's a memoir of the author's life (once I read her biography on Wikipedia). This book sounds vaguely familiar and I believe I have read it before a long time ago but nevertheless I thought I might as well read it again. It's a small book with less than 200 pages and I was so interested and engrossed in it that it took me several hours to finish it. I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next, I wanted to know how she managed to survive throu ...more
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Ruth Minsky Sender is a Holocaust survivor. She has written three memoirs about her experience: The Cage, To Life and Holocaust Lady.

For more information, please see
More about Ruth Minsky Sender...

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