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Making Bombs for Hitler


4.35  ·  Rating details ·  7,342 ratings  ·  944 reviews
Lida thought she was safe. Her neighbors wearing the yellow star were all taken away, but Lida is not Jewish. She will be fine, won't she?

But she cannot escape the horrors of World War II.

Lida's parents are ripped away from her and she is separated from her beloved sister, Larissa. The Nazis take Lida to a brutal work camp, where she and other Ukrainian children are forced
Paperback, 186 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Scholastic Canada (first published January 1st 2012)
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Marsha I would hope you wouldn't try, because that's theft. If you cannot afford to buy it, you can take it out of the library. …moreI would hope you wouldn't try, because that's theft. If you cannot afford to buy it, you can take it out of the library. (less)

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Average rating 4.35  · 
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Mary Cushnie-Mansour
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Making Bombs For Hitler" by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch will take you into a world that you could never imagine was real. How could such cruelty to fellow human beings exist? Although, "Making Bombs for Hitler" is a fictional account of young Lida's survival in the Nazi camps, it is based on historical facts and stories gleaned from those who actually survived those times.
As I read through the pages, I was numb. I could not even shed a tear, I was so angry at the inhumanity that was brought on by w
Nicola Mansfield
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Reason for Reading: The author has become one of my favourite Canadian juvenile authors.

This book is a companion to 2010's Stolen Child. Each book tells the fate of two Ukrainian sisters as they are separated in the middle of WWII. The books need not be read in any particular order. Making Bombs for Hitler details what happens to the eldest sister, Lida. The first couple of pages describe her parting from the younger sister, which is told in much more detail in Stolen Child. Lida is then sent to
This book tells the story of Lida, a fictional young Ukranian girl, who is captured by the Nazis to be used for slave labor shortly before her ninth birthday. Lida's father was killed by the Soviets, and her mother was shot by the Nazis for attempting to hide their Jewish neighbors. After that, Lida and her beloved younger sister, Larissa, went to live with their grandmother, where they were captured by the Nazis. The girls were separated, with Lida being sent to a work camp. Lida is devastated, ...more
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I can see why my kiddos have all been coming up to me with this book in their hand saying "Ms. Stewart, you HAVE GOT to read this!" They've been reading Number the Stars & The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in their reading class, so when this one appeared at the book fair last week, it flew off of the shelves as fast as the librarian could restock it. In just the few days it's been around, it has had quite the rapid circulation rate as it is read, borrowed & lent, and read again. I was finally ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: middle grade readers (tweens)
Recommended to Relyn by: Scholastic Book Fairs
None of the school libraries in our town could keep this book on the shelves during our spring book fair. The students were drawn to the title and the excellent video trailer from Scholastic. They kept reading because this is an engaging story, told well. They finished with heavy hearts and new knowledge.

I read quite a bit of young adult and children's holocaust literature. (See this review for a list of great books.) I was so glad to read another well-written book on this topic. I was even mor
Haley Annabelle
Jun 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was nice quick YA read. It does a really great job of showing the reality of the German prison camps. This book surveys the labor camps, not the concentration camps so it’s definitely not as horrific. But still really sad.
Great story.
Cairo Duran
It was a good book to read because at the end Lida revives a letter from her lost sister and it was very emotional when I read it.
Valerie Sherrard
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Making Bombs for Hitler is the story of eight-year-old Lida, a Ukrainian child who is captured and enslaved in a German camp during WWII. There, she is starved, abused, forced to work long hours and reminded daily of her sub-human status. In spite of all these things, Lida's spirit remains strong. She fights off despair by looking for glimmers of good in her circumstances, and is a model of selflessness and hope to those around her. Another inspiring story from Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A possible theme is no matter how hard something is you can over come it. Lida overcame many challenges by being sent to work camps and only eating turnip soup. The hardest challenge was losing her sister and she knew she would have to work hard to get her back. Lida works hard throughout the book by making tough decisions and back breaking work.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ukrainian Canadian author Marsha Skrypuch writes--as one interview said--"War Fiction: Writing the stories that haven’t been told." She writes about genocide and displaced persons with an eye toward well-researched historical detail often given a personal touch through interviews with survivors who lived through the very stories her fiction brings to readers who often begin each book with little or no knowledge about the stories that have been covered up, overlooked, or allowed to fall through t ...more
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
A good WWII read, but nothing exceptionally new here. I do like that this focuses on a non-Jewish person and their treatment during WWII, and I like that the atrocities committed by the Russians are also addressed...but it isn't as lyrical or emotional as, say Between Shades of Gray...I book I love. The actual "making bombs for Hitler", the idea I was most intrigued by, is actually only a brief side story and really doesn't play an important part in the story. It's really about Lida trying to su ...more
Gabriele Goldstone
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book begins with "... and the light was so white that it made my eyes ache." This story makes my heart ache. At times I had to put it aside because of its intensity. The author shines a harsh light on more victims of the Nazi regime and makes me squirm with discomfort. Compelling read. Companion novel to Stolen Child. Both books should be read by anyone studying WWII because it wasn't only Jewish children who suffered. That war was beyond awful. Kudos to Marsh Skrypuch for remembering the OS ...more
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Me and my daughter both really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a good book for a younger audience about the tragic heartbreak of WWII. 1/15/18

Just read again for my sons 6th grade book Group.
I think it’s a great intro book to the atrocities of the Holocaust. The main characters age didn’t quite fit but enjoyable anyway. We have had some eye opening conversations. 3/2020
Pernille Ripp
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
So many of my students will want to read this, 5th grade and up
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Be useful or they will kill you.”

Lida (9) and her younger sister, Larissa, are taken from their grandmother by the Nazis and separated. Lida ends up in a work camp where if you can’t work or be useful, you won’t live long. So Lida lies about being older than she really is and works hard in the laundry, washing Nazi uniforms. The conditions in the camp are beyond terrible, but at least she and the other girls are willing to help each other out. “If we don’t look out for each other, no one else w
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this Book although it was sad it was very interesting and I couldn't put it down.I liked how it was told in Lida's point of view.I would get the other books. ...more
Ms. Yingling
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Lida and her sister Larissa are taken from their home in the Ukraine and sent to a camp. Their parents are dead, and the girls are soon separated. Lida ends up in a camp where she is lucky enough to work in the laundry, where she is at least warm and gets to wear a clean smock during the day. The conditions are horrible, the food scanty, but the other girls in her barracks help each other. Eventually, Lida is sent to town to make bombs, but after the plant
Melanie Dulaney
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Luka, Lida, and Larissa. Three victims of the circumstances surrounding the Ukrainian citizens during World War II with three distinctly different and historically accurate stories. Stolen Child/Stolen Girl is Larissa's story of being kidnapped, "reeducated," and placed into a Nazi family under the Libensborn program designed to increase the number of German children possessing the highly prized Aryan look. The War Below tells Luka's struggle to escape from the forced labor camps of the Ostarbei ...more
Irma  Jara
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The details that the author incorporated in the book made me feel like I was in the book. Even the little things like her shivering while waiting with the rest of her fellow Ukrainians, I could feel the cold breeze running down my spine. The book was overall amazing but I wish there could be a companion with Larrissa's story or maybe Juli's. ...more
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As others have said, I couldn't put this book down. Characterization and tension were strong. I had to keep a box of tissues nearby. It was hard to believe the Larissa's maturity, but maybe this is what happens during extreme trauma. ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was hard to put it down when i started
Joy Lane
Very engaging and I think is great for 5-8th
In the author's note, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch thanks the World War II slave laborers who shared their experiences to help her create an accurate world story. As horrifying as these stories are, I'm glad there are authors who research and write them, so young readers may have some context to understand the complexities and atrocities of war beyond the facts in a textbook. This is a beautifully-written middle grade/young adult novel featuring a strong female protagonist who looks for and often fin ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Making Bombs for Hitler is a fictional account of a young Ukrainian girl who is captured by the Nazis for slave labor. It is a heartbreaking story of survival and resilience and how in such horrible circumstances a bond of humanity and selflessness can be found. The book is written for middle school and up but is a fascinating read for adults as well.
Garrett Millbrooke
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a story from the perspective of a child that was put in a concentration camp. Lida loses her parents and is transported to a camp with her sister, but then her sister gets taken away. Lida gives specific details of the food, clothing, and lives of everyone there. Very inspirational book that explains how even when you are at the lowest you can still help others.
Lisa Ray
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic WWll Fiction

A coworker's students have been reading this book. On a whim, I purchased it. I have been interested in WWll stories since I was a kid. This book told a riveting story that was so sad, but kept me wanting more. As a teacher, students in 5th and up would learn a great deal from this novel.
Jil Craythorne
Some of my favorite books are the ones my children get excited to share with me. This was a great book to open up discussion with two of my kids. They flew through this book and waited patiently for me to get through the book so we could talk about it. I will definitely read and hopefully share more books from this author with my children.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I only read this because I was waiting for a book to arrive, but I actually ended up liking it a lot! I would rate it a 3.6, but more of an "I like it" than "I really liked it". I actually learned a bit from this book about the Holocaust and what it was like for those in it, and it was a really nice quick read that progressed nicely and was very interesting to read. I would recommend it to others if they want a short read, and I must say that it was pretty good! ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring and really makes you think and be more greatful for your situation, even if you feel like life is hard and unfair.
Luna Rose Cerretani
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book, interesting story. I loved that it focused on those other than Jews during WWII. 3.5 stars.
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Marsha has received numerous awards and honours for her picture books and young adult novels, including a nomination for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year in 2007. Marsha has penned the bestselling Dear Canada book, Prisoners in the Promised Land.

In 2008, Marsha was awarded the Order of Princess Olha by the Ukranian President, in recognition of her story, Enough, which described th

Other books in the series

WW2 (6 books)
  • Stolen Girl
  • The War Below
  • Don't Tell the Nazis
  • Trapped in Hitler's Web
  • Traitors Among Us

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