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Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust
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Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  526 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Told in short, gripping chapters, this is an unforgettable true story of survival. The author was featured in Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.

At just 15, her mother, and brother were taken from their Romanian town to the Auschwitz-II/Birkenau concentration camp. When they arrived at Auschwitz, a soldier waved Elly to the right; her mothe
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press (first published 2007)
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It's tempting to give this book a sympathy vote, because its author endured a horrific experience and survived to become a productive citizen and generous supporter of others experiencing inhumane treatment. However, brief as it was, the narrative was repetitive and disjointed. I suppose one could excuse repetitive, as Scholastic has published this for students; but where were Scholastic's editors when Elly's random thoughts were becoming a novel? The book reads like someone gathered up a number ...more
Nov 20, 2009 Kristen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Adolescents and anyone interested in hearing a first-hand holocaust story
Genre/Category: Nonfiction

This was an eye-opening, heart-wrenching story of a woman who was her family's only survivor of the holocaust. Written in very short chapters, like snippets of memories that come back to her, Elly Berkovits tells about what is was like to live and work in a concentration camp. She also tells what it was like to try to begin her life again after being released and discovering that her parents and her only brother are dead. She lives alone until she meets a man who also s
It's always hard to critique a book such as this. This isn't a fictional story or a historical documentary written by a well-trained historian. This is the true words of a woman who survived the Holocaust. Do you pick apart sentence structure, paragraphs and chapters or do you accept the words for what they are, a true account of a woman trying to explain to the world what she went through? I'm sure you could find 'better written' accounts, but every true account is worth reading. Every person w ...more
The story jumped around quite a bit, but then again it was written at a 5th-grade level interest. I like reading WWII and Holocaust memoirs and this one kept me turning the pages. It was recommended by a student, otherwise I probably would have not even known it existed. Sad story. Happy ending. Quick read.
Emily Wright
Personal Reaction - I am very into learning about the Holocaust, so this book is right up my ally. This book is very informative but it is put into a story that is a page turner. Children in 3rd or 4th grade would love this book.

Purpose - I would read this book aloud to my class to make a curricular connection about the history and the Holocaust. Since this book is during a different time and in a different country, there will be words that children don't know, which will be useful to learn dur
Jacob Hughes
This book is called My True Story of the Holocaus THE END
Zachary Schiltz
I thought this was a somewhat confusing book about the Holocaust. The book went from one vivid memory of her life to another and it was hard to follow the story. I chose this book because I've never read a Holocaust autobiography before and I thought it might be important to see what it was like. I would not recommend this to other students because not only was it confusing but it was also very sad. One of the things I thought was kind of weird was that Elly got a new doll and showed it to her f ...more
The summary of the book is about a real life teenager who escaped the holocaust. They were forced out of their house and were sent to a cattle car that was pitch dark and holes to breathe in, some people were suffocating and also thirsty. Everyday and every night they would have a roll call. They never had nothing to eat except, for a watery soup and a small piece of hard bread. This book is very depressing, sad, and madness of the nazis ; I mean how could they do this to normal people and such ...more
Eva Leger
Aug 09, 2009 Eva Leger rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young teenagers
Recommended to Eva by: found it on PBS
This is a very basic story of a Holocaust survivor. Maybe had I read this at a younger age I would have gotten into it a little more but as sad as it is, it's very repetitive and just basic.
I'm not sure I'd actually hand this to someone or recommend it but I feel lucky to read every single Holocaust story I come across.
This book wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be. Alot of the same information was repeated over and over again.
I am always sad for those who suffered through the Holocaust and am amazed at the will of the human spirit to survive and make the best of their situation. I am grateful that I live in such a different world and that their suffering has created the world to be better and not repeat the same errors.
I thought this book was good for the younger reader that it was written for. It was repetitive and simplistic but gave the feelings and descriptions enough to gain understanding without all the graphic


This book was intended for a younger age, but someone recommended it to me and said they enjoyed reading it in the past. I decided to read it (it took me less than an afternoon) and it gave me a huge in sight into the WWII Holocaust.

This is a good book if you want to learn more about this dreadful time, and it doesn't take long to read.


UPDATE: Jan 2015

I know it might be strange for me to update this nearly a year later, but I realized that I have totally forgotten to mention the writing
C Rich
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
On top of a tall tree, a bird family has a nest. There are Papa, Mama, Sue, and Bob Bird. One day, Papa was called with many others to report to the bird center. As many other birds, Papa Bird never returned. Soon every bird was summoned; Mama, Sue, and Bob Bird with all the other birds arrived at the center. It was very crowded. Sue Bird got lost, Mama and Bob Bird disappeared. Desperately Sue looked for Mama and Bob Bird, but could not find them. Suddenly the sky got dark an
For some reason I am fascinated by stories about the Holocaust. This is a true story of a young fifteen-year-old girl named Elly who grew up in Hungary and was forced from her home and sent to live in a Ghetto with her mother and younger brother in the spring of 1944. Her father had already been drafted in June of 1942 into a forced-labor camp. He was forced to march on foot with no food, water, shoes, or warm clothes. One day, he and his group were forced into a trailer, the doors locked, and t ...more
The book, Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust, by Elly Berkovits Gross, is told by a girl who miraculously survived the Holocaust concentration camps. Based on my knowledge, this is an accurate story told by the survivor herself. Elly was saved my miracle after miracle with her blonde hair and blue eyes. When she was transported to a camp with her mother and brother she was sent to the non-killing side where her mother and brother were sent to the killing side. Elly has made it through all of t ...more
This novel is the first person account of Elly Berkovits Gross, a WWII Jew and Holocaust victim. She is sent off to a concentration camp and then separated from her mother and brother, who she never sees again. She is treated horribly with extreme brutality and malnourishment. This tragic story really informs the reader of what the Holocaust was like, particular for residents of the wretched Nazi killing centers. The setting and time period are portrayed as accurately as possible, considering th ...more
Sophia Skedros
Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust is a true story about a young girl that was taken by the Nazi's. She overcomes many challenges as she lives through the treturous conditions of the concentration camps. By a series a miracles, Elly manages to survive. She then finds a husband, and moves to America. Despite Elly's challenging childhood, she overcame it and she had a wonderful family and graduated college. Elly is an autobiography. Because of this her book if very accurate. Because Elly was a J ...more
Elly is the story of a girl growing up with the holocaust as a part of her life. She survived through the war and is able to tell her amazing story for herself. She grows up going to school with Nazi soldiers at every corner. Being a Jew, she is taken away as a very young girl, one of the youngest in the concentration camp. She tells the stories of the horrible things that happen to the people in the camps from receiving beatings to being gassed and killed in mass amounts. The plot was well cons ...more
McKenna Alley
Elly is a autobiography written by Elly Berkovits Gross, who was a fifteen year old jew living in the Holocaust in concentration camps. The plot of this book was very interesting and original. I liked how her chapters were about a different event each time. Although the chapters were short they were filled with great detail and emotion. The setting in this book is mostly in the Aushwitz/ Birkenau concentration camp. This sad tale is extremely authentic as it takes place in WWII, with real dates ...more
Elly My True Story of the Holocaust is a nonfiction book by Elly Berkovits. This book is about a series of miracles that kept the protagonist, Elly, away from death's door. I thought the plot of this book to be reasonably engaging although I do think the author could have extended the length of this book from its measly 107 pages so it can be more detailed and, therefore, more engaging. Her description of her time in the Auschwitz-II/Birkenau concentration camp really helps you appreciate the re ...more
Jenifer Neilsen
Audience: Intermediate
Genre: Nonfiction (memoir)

Elly Gross has blonde hair and blue eyes, but she is a Jew. She grew up in Romania in the 1930's during a Depression where jobs were almost nonexistent, and people were looking for someone to blame. In 1940, Hungary invaded and took over Romania, and the Jews were blamed for the shortages in food, clothing, and shoes. Everything they owned was taken away and given away to loyal Hungarians. Harsh new laws were enforced including restrictions
Hanna Persson
Elly, My True Story of the Holocaust by Elly Berkovits Gross is an auto biography about a 15 year old girl separated from her family and sent to Auschwitz, liberation camps, in 1944. Elly experiences some of the worst things ever! Since the author of this story is the story, she survived it. “It”, as being the most horrifying thing ever. After months of being in Auschwitz, she gets sent off to another camp being slightly better. When Elly finally becomes free, she comes home but where is her mot ...more
Read this with Lucy to aid her comprehension. We alternated reading chapters aloud then discussed what we read. It is a short and deceptively simple holocaust memoir. At first the vocabulary and story is simplistic and while the writing level remains low-ish the brutality of Elly's experiences still pack an emotional punch, Each chapter and experience is bleaker than the one before. both Lucy and I had trouble reading aloud and discussing some passages because they were so shocking and heart bre ...more
Elly: The True Story of the Holocaust, by Elly Berkovits Gross, is the story of her life as she if forced to encouter the Holocaust. Placed in Elly's Romanian hometown, this nonfiction books leads you through her life where she, at age 15, is forced to leave her home and taken the the Auschwitz-II/Birkenau camp where she is tragically separated from her mother and brother. Through out many short chapters the plot unfolds about her life and how she deals with the experience of being alone in the ...more
I love history. I love books based on true stories. This is why i love this book. This book can move you to tears and anger. It is so sad that she had to go through that. You'll start to imagine her story in your head an cry. You'll feel angry because you would think why didn't anyone help them. I'm not telling you that off the bat your going to cry and I scare you away from reading it. I'm a very emotional person so this book got to me. You should read it,because if you like stories about overc ...more
Cierra Kinsey
Elly: My true story of the Holocaust is a historical non-fiction book. I think the author wrote this book to inform people about the struggle she and other jews went through during the Holocaust. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy memorizing and history. I liked the story but I don’t remember very many details because those are areas that I am not skilled in. If you enjoy these things I would recommend this book for you.
Natalie Homer
I'm surprised this book isn't classified as Children's or Young Adult. It would be an excellent resource for the classroom. But for adult readers, it leaves a lot to be desired. In a world, it is oversimplified. It's written in very simple, childlike language and contains only the bare bones of what happened. There was poetry included at the end, and while I'm sure it was heartfelt, it wasn't the best quality.
Ashley Castillo
In my opinion this is a good book because it talks about someone's experience in the halocast. There is the person name Elly. And they took her mother away when she was 15 years old. Elly's mom is a survivor in the halocast. And she is giving us her experience in the halocast. This story is also history so we can learn about it. In my opinion this is a great history book.
Ian read this one in school this year (5th grade) and he loaned it to me. It is written by a survivor, and tells of the atrocities of the holocaust. This is probably Ian's first really exposure to Holocaust Lit, and I think it was well done and age appropriate. A lot of harsh realities in it that I am planning on talking to Ian about to see what he thinks.
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