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The Island on Bird Street

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  648 ratings  ·  70 reviews
During World War II a Jewish boy is left on his own for months in a ruined house in the Warsaw Ghetto, where he must learn all the tricks of survival under constantly life-threatening conditions.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 20th 1992 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1981)
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Orlev, Uri. The Island on Bird Street.
New York, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984. Novel.

This is a book about a boy named Alex who narrates his story after his father was taken away by the Nazis. He has to learn to survive on his own and hide from the Nazis in a ruined house in the Warsaw Ghetto. His father promises Alex that he would come back to find him and that he must stay away from the Germans no matter what. The setting is deeply described by many of the chatracters throughout th
German soldiers have separated the main character, Alex, from his father. Alex is a young, Jewish boy whose mother has already been lost to the Holocaust. He promises to hide and wait for his father at 78 Bird Street in the evacuated Polish Ghetto. Days go by; his father does not come, and he comes to understand that he must make himself a safe home. Then Alex realizes that his house is like an island, and he begins his life as a modern day Robinson Crusoe. He even has a buddy like Robinson’s ma ...more
This is a really good way to introduce the holocaust to younger children. It explores the surface of the Nazi/Polish treatment of the Jews during WWII, but it does not examine the depth or detail of violence and emotion that most holocaust books reserve for their more mature readers. Orlev utilizes themes of bravery, ingenuity, impossible decisions, hope, and family, while still attempting to be just realistic enough to be believable.

3.5 stars. Didn't get 4 stars because it was very "safe."

Oliver Guarnieri
The Island On Bird Street by Uri Orlev

Oliver Guarnieri 9-26-14

Ms.Castiello Mrs.Richardson

This book takes place in the warsaw, Poland during World War II. It is about an 11 year old boy named Alex who lives with his father and mother. Alex and his family are Jewish and they are forced to live in a neighborhood called the Warsaw Ghetto with thousands of other Jews. All the Jews are rounded up in to a ghetto to work. If you where not a hard worker or a kid or to old you were sent to the concentrat
Obwohl dieses Buch sehr schön ist, finde ich hier ausnahmsweise mal den Film schöner, den ich schon vor dem Lesen kannte.
Alex, ein 12-Jähriger jüdischer Junge, kämpft im 2. Weltkrieg ganze allein um sein Überleben in einem polnischen Getto. Er muss sich überlegen wie er sich ein sicheres Versteck baut, an Lebensmittel kommt, sein Leben verteidigen kann und dennoch Kind bleiben kann. Während sein Vater noch unterwegs ist, er wurde bei einer Selektion mitgenommen, begleitet Alex nur seine kleine w
Yaffa Shira
My father told me it got a great review and that I should read it, I did, it was only the second Hebrew novel I have ever finished!! Glad I read it. I read it in the original. It is a kids' book, so the five stars are in a category of their own, or of my own definition. It is 5 stars because that is how I feel about having read a Hebrew Novel, and 5 cuz I really enjoyed reading it.
Brin  McKay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lada Moskalets
Про малого Робінзона у Варшавському гетто, який переховується в зруйнованому будинку і бореться проти стихії, лише не природної, а людської. Небезпекою є не шторми, а німці, мародери, інші євреї, що крадуть його їжу. Попри все книжка дуже вдало і тонко написана, майже як пригодницький роман, і за всіма цими таємними драбинами, розмовами з білою мишкою і спілкуванням абеткою Морзе з коханою через вулицю, забуваєш, що це власне війна. І майже відчуваєш затишок комірчини під підвіконням, де Алек чи ...more
This is the second book I added to my to-read list on Goodreads - 2.5 years ago. Now I'm finally reading it!
Havana Blues
Holocaust pro desetileté čtenáře. Holocaust jako dobrodružství. Vážně.

Dvanáctiletý Alex, jehož matka zmizela při jedné ze svých cest do jiné části ghetta, je oddělen od svého otce - a protože ten mu slíbil, že se vrátí, čeká Alex v rozbořeném domě, kde si vyrobí skrýš, jakési hnízdo na patře, k němuž už nevedou schody. Výroba provazového žebříku, výpravy za potravou, věrný Pátek v podobě bílé myšky a signalizační systém, za pomoci kterého se domlouvá s holčičkou na "polské straně", v ceně! Jenom
1981. Wow, this little youth book is a gem!

So very well done. The author manages to convey a whole lot about the situation in the Warsaw Ghetto after the Nazis took the Jews away -- all through the eyes of a 12 year old boy. He does this masterfully, subtly. No 'lecturing' in this book.

Reading between the lines, you see how the author indirectly explains how it was that this particular child was psychologically able to survive as he did -- the love and support and training he had received from h
Sweet story of a boys survival in the ghetto of Warsaw at the end of WW!!. Loved the way the boy thought things through and was innovative and smart. I like the way he listened to what his Father told him and then stayed the course. I'll keep this book. This was a page turner.
Charity Lockhart
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
António Neves
Gostei muito do livro! :D
Pode-se achar um pouco infantil devido à escrita ser simples mas como se passa em plena II Guerra Mundial o livro deixa de ser assim tão infantil.

Obrigado Laura Martins por mo teres emprestado! :)
Linda Humberstone
This is a really good teen book although suitable for adult reading too. As Alex, a young boy waits in a bombed out house in the ghetto for his father to come, he becomes a resourceful individual solving many problems involved in hiding from the Nazis; finding food, searching for useful objects that he needs to help him survive safely etc. Most importantly, he watches over the dividing wall monitoring what is happening on the Polish side. The writer does not dwell upon the horror that was happen ...more
Kristýna Obrdlíková
Téma samozřejmě musí chytit, ale způsob podání příběhu mi moc nedal. Musela jsem se trochu snažit, abych to dočetla. Být to o čemkoli jiném, knihu odložím.
A very good Holocaust book portraying life in a ghetto. I had to read this for school, but would gladly read it again.
Sue Shin
Incredibly sad and touching story about a 11 year old Jewish boy in World War II. Amazing book (:
I read this book when I was 12 years old or so and I thought it was very good and sweet.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
What Island on Bird Street is about is a boy named Alex who is hiding from British soldiers because British soldiers took Alex's farther away.The characters are Alex's dad,the girl he likes,the bully,and his uncle Boruch. Then he see's a pretty girl who always does her homework at the window.Then he decided to go to the other side one day.Alex's dad thought Alex to use a pistol.This is based on the war with the German and British.I think it was based on the war with the German and British?
This was a very touching book about a young man who has to grow up quickly due to events beyond his control. Young Alex has to survive on his wits and the knowledge his parents have wisely instilled in him. I like that this World War 2 book doesn't focus so much on the Nazi/Jew hatred, but more on the survival of a boy who doesn't have time to focus on people's hatreds , but rather life or death. A great read for young teens who are interested in history through a child's eyes.
Aug 25, 2008 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children aged 8-14,
Recommended to Kate by: Brian
This is an excellent children's book. It is told in first person, and makes for a very compelling read. We are with Alex as he struggles to survive alone, and evade discovery in the Warsaw ghetto during WWII. Many of the difficulties he must deal with are very adult, but are told in a way as to be easily accessible to children. I think this book is excellent for anyone interested in a child's point of view of the holocaust, and anyone who liked Anne Frank or Robinson Crusoe.
Loved this story of boy hiding from the Nazis in Poland. It is beautifully written with plenty of action. The author is Jewish and lived in a Warsaw ghetto and later a concentration camp. Incredible. I didn't want to put it down.
Mar 22, 2009 Esther rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children interested in WO II
Shelves: children
This was one of my favorite books as a child. I must have read it about 4, 5 times when I was in primary and middle school. I remember thinking the main character (a Jewish boy who has to take care of himself in the second world war until his father (hopefully) returns to him) was a true hero, taking care of himself like that. I would recommend it to any child interested in the second world war.
Kayleigh Mize
Truly amazing, Really inspirational. I think that it teaches a very well lesson of things could always be worse and that you should never give up!
A good introduction to the Holocaust. Most books I've read about the Holocaust focus on concentration camps, this one focuses on a small boy who is hiding in a Polish ghetto waiting for his father to return. It was sprinkled with small details I had never thought to consider - an important aspect to me in any book/conversation/adventure/experience.
Molly found this book at the university library and I decided to read it first. I actually had high expectations considering its high rating on GoodReads but it left me a little disappointed. It presented an interesting story but I had a hard time visualizing the place he was in and the structure of all the buildings he moved among.
Danny Krill
Ah, I'm surprised I found this book -- I didn't remember the title! This is definitely the one. I remember it being about a polish boy who more or less lives on his own in a ghetto (during, of course, World War II). Quality story. I thought it was originally in Polish, but it was translated from the original language, Hebrew.
Emily's Aiming High teacher introduced her to this book when she was in elementary school, and I read it then. I've also read it several times since. It's a great book about a Jewish boy who survives the Warsaw Ghetto by living in a bombed out building while he waits for his father to come and get him.
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Uri Orlev (Hebrew: אורי אורלב; born Jerzy Henryk Orlowski in 1931) is an award-winning Israeli children's author and translator of Polish-Jewish origin. Born in Warsaw, Poland, he survived the war years in the Warsaw Ghetto and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp (where he was sent after his mother was shot by the Nazis). After the war he moved to Israel. He began writing children's literature in ...more
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