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Destined to Live: A True Story of a Child in the Holocaust

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  278 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
What would you do if your whole life was shattered, and you were forced into hiding? This gripping, poignant memoir about coming of age during The Holocaust explores that question.

Pretty, carefree Aurelia Gamser (known today as Ruth Gruener) had an idyllic life in 1930s Poland -- until violent acts of anti-Semitism and the deportation of Jewish families to concentration ca
paperback, 156 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Scholastic (first published October 1st 2007)
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Apr 30, 2013 Juliet rated it really liked it
The book Destined to Live: A True Story of a Child in the Holocaust, was sad, but although it has a happy ending, there are still some disturbing parts. I just finished it so ideas are still fresh in my mind. The antagonist in this story is not only one particular person, Hitler, but all a group of people, the Nazis. Luncia, the main character in Destined to Live, was put through the hard times of World War II. Luncia, her mother, Barbara, and her father, Isaac (Tatu was his nickname meaning 'Da ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Cooper rated it really liked it
Cooper Hutfless



21 January 2016

Destined to Live by Ruth Gruener

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have to hide in small, tight spaces? Then have to sneak around the streets just to get a small piece of bread? In the book Destined to Live by Ruth Gruener it tells the story of how a young girl named Luncia survived the Holocaust. I read this book because I had never learned about the holocaust, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.
In the beginning of th
Lauren H
Feb 26, 2012 Lauren H rated it it was amazing
A young girl Luncia, now known as Ruth tells her tales of hiding to survive the Holocaust. Destined to Live is a true story of a young girl who survived the Holocaust with her family. She starts her story by telling about her early life and how she was well off and very blessed. However as the war progresses, she tells of how she has to give her bedroom to another family, how her fathers candy shop must close, how she loses her toys, dolls and beautiful dresses and the loss of her home. She is s ...more
Feb 26, 2012 Amelia rated it really liked it
Destined to Live is a story of a young girl Luncia or now known as Ruth, and her life as a young Jewish girl in the Holocaust. Written by herself she tells of how she grew up having everything she needed, beautiful dolls, fancy dresses, piano lessons, and treats at her parents candy shop. But, as the war starts her life takes a turn for the worst. She is forced to move out of her room so others can come live in it. She then goes through akzia's or deportations and hides in uncomfortable situatio ...more
Sep 20, 2012 Sami added it
Destined to Live, written by Ruth Gruener, has a well constructed plot of the life of a child during the Holocaust. The Holocaust is an authentic setting in this book and is very identifiable because of all the horror that happened during the Holocaust. The Characters are believable and consistent because they are real people and this is their experience of how they were destined to live. The engaging writing style describes near death experiences with imaginative words. This book is first perso ...more
Matt Nelson
Destined to live is a non-fiction book about a young girl struggling through the Holocaust. The purpose of this book is to tell you the true story of a young girl named Lucia's struggle through the Holocaust. My position regarding the topic is that the darkness can corrupt a person’s mind very easily, and the citizens didn't entirely know what they were saying. I think she communicated her thoughts very well. I found the book intriguing and quite interesting. An example of this were the many pic ...more
Jake Snow
Apr 28, 2015 Jake Snow rated it really liked it
The book Destined to Live is a non-fiction book. The purpose of the book Destined to Live is to inform us about the Holocaust and how hard it was for Jewish people to hide from the Nazis. Aurelis Gamzer is a young Jewish girl living in Germany in the 1930’s, Aurelia came from a rich family, but her life was destroyed because of the Holocaust. This book shows the struggle to hide and live during the Holocaust in the 1930’s. I think the author did a good job of writing this book. The author explai ...more
Jul 03, 2009 Jackie rated it really liked it
A great book for anyone, but is age appropriate for a 3rd to 4th grader.
Dec 11, 2008 J rated it liked it
Easy, quick read, but interesting story on survival.
May 29, 2013 Sonia rated it really liked it
I just finished this book, "Destined to Live: A True Story of a Child in the Holocaust". It is an autobiography that tells you about a little Jewish girl, Aurelia's, struggles to keep her hope up while in hiding during the Holocaust. I would recommend this book to anyone fifth grade and up. It is a Holocaust book, so it definitely has some scary and disturbing parts, but it is very mild for a book of its genre.
The things things this little girl had to go through are atrocious. Life in a cramp
Jorji Diaz
Feb 24, 2012 Jorji Diaz rated it it was amazing
Destined to live is a less depressing Holocaust book about the if a jewish girl Luncia. With her father and mother they are sent to various bumps on the road due to their simple religion. However, just because there are bumps in the road doesn't mean that they aren't destined to live. I could truly believe this books story for Luncia is telling it, and there are several pictures of her when she was a child, to when she is married, to when she is old. By this being in the book, it made everythin ...more
Eva Leger
Feb 23, 2010 Eva Leger rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young teenagers
Recommended to Eva by: found on PBS
I think I read this years ago before I started GR. I remembered a few distinct parts of the book but besides those few parts I remembered nothing else - so I'm confused. I remembered the parents owning the candy store, I remembered her having to stay in hiding in the trunk for a few weeks, I remember the woman who was hiding her taking her back to her parents, and that's about it. The thing that confuses me the most is I started getting into this type of book after I started here on GR. But I su ...more
Kortney S
Feb 24, 2012 Kortney S rated it liked it
Destined to Live by Ruth Gruener is a moving story about a young girl fighting to survive during the Holocaust. She is constantly being moved and hidden from place to place, never having enough to eat. Ruth wrote this book about her experiences during this tough time during the war. It was very inspiring because it was a true story about a girl who actually went through the things she writes about. There were many pictures in the book with her before and after the war and it made it even more sa ...more
Terrie Landsberger
Mar 22, 2015 Terrie Landsberger rated it really liked it
My book that I chose to read was Destined to live by Ruth Gruener. This book was a non fiction book. In this book it told a story of a little girl that has to hide and fight for her life. The Germans where killing all of the Jewish people. This was called the Holocaust. I rated this book a four because It was a great book. When I started reading I couldn't stop.
Dec 27, 2012 7706serena rated it really liked it
I liked this historical non-fiction book. Its about a girl who has to hide to survive the holocaust. When her family gets moved to the ghetto, they're almost certain that they will be taken away to a concentration camp. They panic and send their child to a Christian family's house. There, she has to keep quiet and only speak in hushed tones. One day, two twins in the family that took her in had an argument and insisted that the child should move away. So the mother of the family keeps her in a c ...more
Aug 17, 2015 Pauline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii
This Scholastic book was written for younger readers but it is an excellent story for any age. Of course, the events are not detailed in this book as they would be if written for adult readers, but enough of Ruth Gruener's story was told to be interesting and informative. I am so glad that those who survived are now telling their stories. Whether people went to camps or survived by hiding, the courage these people exhibited was amazing. Read this book and discuss it with your 5th grade and above ...more
Feb 27, 2012 Latifa(= rated it really liked it
Aurelia the protagonist is a happy, carefree child, whose life cannot get any better. Well that is until the WWII begins and EVERYTHING changes. Throughout the book Aurelia struggles to be strong even though her life is at risk everyday. Even though she faces death, more then once Aurelia and her family were obviously destined to live. Told from the perspective of a child, as she shares her insights of her terrifying experience. As if the book could not have gotten any better, the book has sever ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Ella rated it liked it
A very interesting and emotional Holocaust story. I read the tale of Aurelia's husband first, so it was cool to know both their stories.
May 25, 2015 Ginny added it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015
This one is the story (in a much more condensed version) of the author of Prisoner B-3087's wife.
Quick interesting read.

Something my middle schoolers would LOVE.
Mar 26, 2016 Bookfanatic696 rated it really liked it
Really good, quite a good and true story
May 21, 2015 Danylo added it
this book is Awesome and really sad
Naomi Campbell
May 29, 2016 Naomi Campbell rated it really liked it
I recommended this to a fifth grade teacher friend of mine for her classroom. I had first read Prisoner (whatever that title is) of Jack who survived 10 different concentration camps, and I wanted to read the true story of Ruth, who grows up and marries Jack. This is it. Her explanations are so understandable and her little mind, the way she thinks about everything, and how she chooses! So glad I got my hands on this one! She surely was destined to live!
Madysen Boley
Feb 27, 2012 Madysen Boley rated it it was amazing
"Destined to Live" by Ruth Gruener is a nonfiction Holocaust story about a girl, Ruth Gruener herself, and the many miracles her and her family had to survive World War II. It's extremely complex and compelling story will always keep you wanting to read more. You will feel as if you are actually in the story while you read the scary and loving experiences she encounters throughout Europe. I enjoyed this book very much and encourage everyone to read it.
Aug 18, 2012 Cassie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-read
I was very surprised I liked this, because usually I don't like Holocaust books because of how sad they are. But I made it through this book, and I'm happy I did. It's about a Jewish girl who's living in Poland when WWII starts and how her life drastically changes. I did get emotional at parts, cause a child at the age she was when this was all going on, made me incredibly sad. But great book over all. I really did enjoy it.
Jan 27, 2009 Brenda rated it liked it
The Holocaust is one of History's subjects that is fascinating and incredibly sad at the same time. This story is about a young girl and her family who spend the war hiding from the Nazis. It includes photos and also an epilogue that tells what happened to various people in the story. It was a fast read and one that Middle School students, especially girls, would enjoy.
Mar 18, 2009 Rich rated it really liked it
I had been reading this to my fifth grade students in class. The story line has kept them spell bound and amazingly attentive. The story and topics were new to my students and brought up great discussions. They soaked up the Holocaust, the Nazis, and WWII like a sponge.
May 15, 2013 Oliver rated it it was amazing
This is a sad story of a child in the holocaust who grew up and let go of her painful memories. I had the pleasure of speaking with lunica, now known as Ruth, about sharing her experiences firsthand at my school.
Mar 10, 2011 Ellie rated it really liked it
It was a truely remarkable book about a journey of a young Jewish girl who live has been devastated by war. I highly recommend it to student learning about war.
Jun 05, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
I listened to this book for read aloud with my fifth grade teacher. I enjoyed it, but I think I would have enjoyed it better if I had read it on my own.
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autobiography 1 1 Dec 12, 2015 01:15PM  
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Ruth Gruener is a Holocaust survivor. She married Holocaust survivor Jack Gruener and they both currently live in New York, America.
More about Ruth Gruener...

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