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Something Remains

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  137 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews

Erich Levi doesn't understand why his father is so gloomy when the Nazis are elected to power. He's too concerned with keeping his grades up, finding time to hang out by the river with his friends, and studying for his bar mitzvah, to worry about politics.

But slowly, gradually, things begin to change for Erich. Some of the teachers begin to grade him unfairly - because he'
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Disney-Hyperion (first published January 1st 2004)
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May 12, 2007 Yonatan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone ready for subject
The book is the culmination of a research project a school teacher in a small town in Germany initiated with her students. The project was to trace the history of the (small) Jewish community in the town which disappeared in 1938. The author focuses on one German-Jewish family during Hitler's rise to power, while specifically writing from the perspective of one of the children, Erich. The book is created as a children's book (10 and up), yet is more than captivating for an adult. The author writ ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
I was reading historical fiction about WWII earlier and I think that book (The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti) really helped me in understanding this book. It was very interesting because "The Boy Who Dared" was about a normal German boy and this book is about a Jew. It was fascinating to see the differences and similarities in the lives of these young people.

The story itself is very exciting and it hooks the reader until the end, leaving them stunned to see what actually happened. I
Lauryn Weaver
Apr 17, 2015 Lauryn Weaver rated it it was amazing
At first, Erich Levi (a jewish boy from Ellwangen,Germany) doesn't understand why everything in his life is changing. As Hitler starts gaining control, most of his friends from school start to distance themselves from him until he only has one friend(helmut). His father's business starts failing because he has no customers and his brother(max) is being physically bullied at school. When he gets older things get even worse for him because the man who teaches his class is a Nazi who harasses Eric ...more
Apr 09, 2011 Leane rated it it was ok
Shelves: holocaust, ya-fiction
I suppose a lot of research went into this novel, and I do appreciate that it was written by a teacher and that it is a true story. But as a reader, I must say that this book is super boring. Nothing really happens. Yes, things do get worse and worse for Erich Levi and his family who live in a small town in Germany during the rise of Hitler and the Nazis in the early 1930s. And yes, I did feel incredibly sorry for Erich and his little brother, Max, who had to undergo ridicule and humiliation day ...more
Nov 19, 2016 Grace rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii, translated
I've never thought that there should be books that "everyone" should read. However, after the election, maybe everyone should read Something Remains. Everyone likes to think that they would have done the right thing in Nazi Germany, but we know that is simply not true. The last sentence of the blurb sums this book up perfectly: "Something Remains provides, with terrible, everyday detail, an answer to the impossible question: how could the Holocaust have happened?" It seems we need a reminder.
Sep 01, 2010 Alison rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, world
A very good and important book about the last family if Jews in a small town in Swabia. Most books are solely about the Holocaust and do not discuss the trauma that must have affected so many families even before the war. I think it also gives a bit of insight into the townspeople. Surely some were bad, but also sine were just terrified - something the Levis could actually relate to. Great perspective. And the writing itself was good. I would like to see what else this author could do, maybe eve ...more
Kelsey McKim
Nov 22, 2015 Kelsey McKim rated it it was ok
Shelves: my-library
I was a little disappointed, but I think it was mostly that I wasn't sure what toe expect from this book. I thought it would be a story of a Holocaust survivor, either based on a true story or a group of true stores. It is actually more of a fictionalized version of one boy's story about living in Germany as anti-Jewish feeling escalated in the 1930s, but not during WWII or the Holocaust. It was less dramatic and plot-centered than I was expecting, but again, I think that was mostly my misunders ...more
Dec 04, 2011 Riv rated it did not like it
Shelves: realistic, dnf, for-school
Sure, it's Holocaust literature, which should get it bonus points for the whole "minory, taboo subject" thing. But it was so terrible. I couldn't get halfway through. It's so slow, and the characters are all so generic. I guess Erich Levi was supposed to represent an average mostly-Ortodox (I think?) 12 year old, but nothing happened in the book. A hundred pages in, and very few things of note have happened.
Total, epic, #bookfail
Feb 19, 2010 Paula rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
Very readable story about a young boy growing up in 1933-38 Germany. Jewish, he went from becoming one of the most popular kids in his school to being totally ostracized. This is a good tale about how the lives of the Jewish people slowly deteriorated as Hitler gained power. Highly recommended read.
Apr 07, 2014 Anastasia rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book because instead of it being about concentration camps and that sort of thing, it was about the daily life of German Jews during Hitler's rise to power and the rise of the Nazi party. I think it was really well researched and showed the gradual rise of feelings against the Jews. I wish there had been a little more questions answered, even if it was fictional.
L Frost
Sep 18, 2015 L Frost rated it did not like it
I had high hopes for a book about a young Jewish boy living in Germany during the years leading up to WWII. But this was one of the slowest books I've ever read and incredibly boring. It's almost a daily account of the boy's life as he goes to school each day. There really isn't much of a plot, and I finally gave up midway and skipped to the final chapters and epilogue to see what happened.
Mary Bronson
I thought this was a very good book. I loved the characters and plot. This book was told a great story of what it was like for Jews before WWII. How this ugly mess got started. I'm glad that the family got out of Germant and to America before they were send off to the camps.
Apr 26, 2010 Liz rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. One of the messages I got from it is that even when the world is crumbling around you, the kindness of a few can lift you up and keep you going. Also that Natzis suck. But I knew that already.
Excellent novel, hard to read at parts, heartbreaking, shows in great detail HOW the Holocaust happened and how good Germans were terrorized into submission. One of the best Holocaust novels I have read.
Jan 08, 2012 Kevin rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, library, germany
Inge Barth-Grozinger has brilliantly recreated the life of a Jewish family in a small German town during the Nazi era. Something Remains provides, with terrible, everyday detail, an answer to the impossible question: how could the Holocaust have happened?
Apr 19, 2012 Maigan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I thought it was a bit slow, but it was good. Something I'd never read anything like. It's pre-Holocaust times, from a Jewish kid's point of view. Hilter was just elected and was wreaking havoc all over Germany. I felt so bad for him. :( I literally started crying.
Excellent Holocaust YA historical fiction. Not much left to say really. It doesn't feel right to make any kind of witty joke here. Recommended!
Nov 09, 2008 Tiffy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Tiffy by: no one
This book proves that in tough times people can be cruel but also....people can survive through the worst.
Mar 25, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it
Beginning of Hitler's reign and how a teenage Jewish boy, Erich, survives school and family life. Life is unpleasant and gets worse every day.
Generally, an anti-climatic novel with a bland plot. Reading from the narrative of a young Jewish boy was interesting, however.
Tammy Barrack
Jul 25, 2016 Tammy Barrack rated it liked it
This was a good book but it moved slowly at times. I love historical fiction set in WW II regarding the holocaust so I persevered.
Jun 17, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book. Saddened how subtle evil rises. The book flowed well and I really could feel the loneliness and confusion of the subject.
Katie Alstot
Katie Alstot rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2015
Noelle Clark
Noelle Clark rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2015
Leaira moore
Leaira moore rated it liked it
Apr 05, 2016
Markus Jackowski
Markus Jackowski rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2016
Liezl Manatad
Liezl Manatad rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2014
Ella K.
Ella K. rated it liked it
Jan 26, 2015
Syd rated it it was amazing
Nov 16, 2016
Susanne rated it did not like it
Jun 01, 2016
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