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The Cage

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  3,095 ratings  ·  201 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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Community Reviews

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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.
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
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
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
Emili Marin
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
" 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
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
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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
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
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
Emma Gordon
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
Claudia Moscovici
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
Sidney Czinder
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
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.
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
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

Heartbreaking, as usual. This book has left me all night thinking, 'How did they survive all the horrors that the Nazi has given them?'

I am so dissapointed that many people in this world doesn't know a single bit of detail about the Holocaust. They do not know how lucky they are to be living in a generation where materialistic things are easy to find. They do not know what the Jews suffered through, and for that I just want to remind everyone that this is an important historical event t
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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
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
Eva Leger
Mar 24, 2009 Eva Leger rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young-mid teens and adults
Recommended to Eva by: found it on GR
This is a VERY fast book to read. It's one of those books, even with the subject being terribley difficult, that can be read in one sitting, maybe two. I started it late yesterday and finished early morning today. I definitely could have finished it in one sitting had I tried.
I read a lot of reviews from young teens before I picked this up and it was my thinking that the book would be mainly geared towards the young. I was wrong. Adults and teens alike can get a lot from the book.
I'd be lying
The book “The Cage” Written by Ruth Minsky Sender is about a Jewish family in Poland that is hiding from the German Nazis during the Holocaust. The Nazis took deported their mother away to a work camp. After the mother was sent away, the sixteen year old daughter, Riva, is forced to become her younger brothers Motele, Moishele, and Laibele new legal guardian. The kids remember the brave words their mother use to say to them in order to get by everyday. However, they were becoming very ill and ev ...more
I cried a lot but could not put it down

This is a coming of age story about 16 year old Riva Minska and the importance of tolerance as well as the destruction of discrimination. Riva and her family are living in Poland during World War II (1939-1945), under Nazi rule. This story opens with a haunting poem written by Riva. She is asking why, has all of “this” happened to her and her family, she describes how she feels like a trapped bird in a cage.
At only 16 years old, Riva, is forced to take th
Jordyn Brown
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Daniela Garcia
The Cage by Ruth Minsky Sender is such a great book that anyone can learn from it. Riva Minska, the main character, went trough a lot of difficult things. All of her family, including her, were Jewish, and she lived during the Holocaust. When she was only fourteen her mother was taken to a concentration camp, so Riva had to become a mother to her siblings, and they have to go live in the ghetto. After that, one of her bothers dies from tuberculosis and then she gets sick too. Then, her and her s ...more
Athena Rose
The Cage by Ruth Minsky Sender is such a strong and emotional book where you follow a teenager through the struggles of the Holocaust and live to tell her story. I love how it is a true story and how Ruth tells her story so openly. You go through a roller-coaster of emotions reading this book and it teaches you never to lose hope. Everyone should read this book at least once because it is historical and teaches brilliant life lessons about never giving up and always have hope.
Lauren Schneiderman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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...
To Life The Holocaust Lady Cage

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