Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Prisoner B-3087” as Want to Read:
Prisoner B-3087
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Prisoner B-3087

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  22,865 ratings  ·  3,352 reviews
Survive. At any cost.

10 concentration camps.

10 different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly.

It's something no one could imagine surviving.

But it is what Yanek Gruener has to face.

As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the mercy of the Nazis who have taken over. Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have been snatched brutally from him.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Scholastic Inc.
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Prisoner B-3087, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sandy Brehl As a retired teacher, I encourage you to also read the book so that you can fully respond to his questions, and also support his effort to research an…moreAs a retired teacher, I encourage you to also read the book so that you can fully respond to his questions, and also support his effort to research and answer them for himself. Since it is assigned, please trust that the teacher is well aware and that it will be discussed in context with other background information. I hope they will also be reading other books on this topic to compare/contrast and broaden their awareness of the complexity of the Holocaust.
I just finished reading it myself, I'm a trained Holocaust educator, and I urge you to encourage him and share the journey. A recent survey revealed that nearly half of millennials could not define what Holocaust was- some even mis-identified it as 9/11. In today's paper there was an obituary for a 106 year old local man who was a Holocaust survivor and educator. Those who lived through it will soon be gone, and it falls to the rest of humanity to make sure the truth is told and shared to prevent it from happening again.(less)
Tracy Dishman Yes it is. It is a middle grade book, so your 6th grader should enjoy it.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,865 ratings  ·  3,352 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Prisoner B-3087
jv poore
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Prisoner B-3087 is a novel, based on the true story of Jack Gruener’s formative years in concentration camps. Anyone vaguely familiar with the Holocaust will find it remarkably difficult to determine where Mr. Gratz took liberties. At a blush, this may seem like a heavy topic for the intended audience of younger students (Middle and Jr. High); however, in its simplicity, I believe that the story is perfectly presented.

The horror unfolds through the eyes of Yanek (later to known as Jack Gruener).
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
Actual Rating: 1.75

The story of Yanek Gruener is not an outstandingly unique one. His story, or at least something akin to his, has been told numerous times in the past, under different names of course. Nevertheless, I seem to be attracted to reading these sorts of stories even though I know how everyone of them ends.

I picked this one up mostly because of the title and the cover. It's sort of beautiful in a very plain and morbid way. It looks similar to a graphic novel's cover I read a while ag
Tara Gold
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Yanek Gruener is ten years old, Jewish, and living in Poland in the late 1930's. One day, the Nazis take over his town and Yanek's journey through the Jewish ghetto and ten different concentration camps begins. Yanek watches as everything, and everyone, he loves is taken away from him. There's no escape -- only survival. Every time Yanek barely escapes death, every time he watches the Nazi's brutally murder those around them, he pledges to fight by living to carry on the memory of those who were ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am not certain what I expected from this book .. maybe a little more fiction: some, off the wall connections and actions that were obviously not something that truly happened. I think I walked into it with that bias, as it continuously comments on it being BASED on the true story of Jack (or Yanek) Gruener. Since it wasn't his complete true story, and it was only based on it, I figured the rest of it would have been bolstered with untruths.

That was what it wasn't, however. At the end of the te
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this was a thrilling page turner that I think a lot of people would l was on the edge the whole book I highly reccomend the book for peoplewho are in to ww2 and like to have anxiety the whole time they are reading. anyways thank you alan gratz for the great book.
⋆  yel  ⋆
3.5 of 5 stars


It was really difficult to imagine that the events happened at this book was experienced by a lot of people at that time. It was terrible and truly terrifying. And knowing that real Yanek had suffered and survived that horrible nightmare, it was really something no one can really comprehend. As Yanek himself said, even in the most explicit description of the story one can tell, no one can really understand what they've been through. Although this had the same things to of
Harry Brake
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You know of Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank, and Oskar Schindler, or do you? After attending a crucial seminar in the study of the Holocaust in Delaware, attending the Holocaust Museum, studying the Holocaust at the University of Delaware for a summer, and continuing to return to the very heart of why knowing about the Holocaust is so important, this text does not add any more depression to the theme of the Holocaust, it simply adds to the motivation to educate more and more generations about why this i ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Prisoner B-3087 was one of my favorite books that i've read this year. The book is about a boy who survived through the Holocaust. I would recommend this book to people who like history. I really liked the book, and I think anyone who picks it up will end up enjoying it. ...more
May 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical
Yanek Gruener, Prisoner B-3087, is a fictionalized version of the true story of Jack Gruener. Yanek and his family are Jews living in Krakow, Poland, when it is invaded by the Nazi's. It follows the construction of the ghetto there, the consolidation of the Jews, and then their mass deportations to factories, work or death camps. Eventually, teenage Yanek ends up alone, with sage advice from his uncle to trust and care about no one. During the war, Yanek is transferred to ten different concentra ...more
Kevin Ramirez
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathon P.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I flew this book because it always had me in suspense. The story was uneasing and it blows my mind what the Nazis did to the Jews. This story was about a little boy named Yanek. Yanek is a Jew and when he and his family get put into concentration camps, they get separated. Once in his first camp tho, he finds his uncle. His uncle told him that everyone else in the family had been killed by the Nazis. It was a very sad book and it was horrifying what these people did. From putting the Jews in gas ...more
Margo Tanenbaum
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended for ages 12 and up.

This new Holocaust novel by author Alan Gratz is based on the true story of Yanek Gruener, a Jewish boy living in Krakow whose comfortable, middle-class life is turned upside down when the Nazis take over his country in 1939. The title, of course, refers to the number tattooed by the Nazis on his arm at one of the ten concentration camps he managed to survive. In fact, survival at all cost is the theme of this gripping and moving novel, told in the first person by
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a review of the book Prisoner B-3087. The book takes place in Poland and Germany during WWII. Yanek, the main character in the story, and his family are Jewish and have to live in the ghetto that the Nazis have turned their home town into. Life is very hard for them, they have very little food, and they are forced to live with 4 other families in their small apartment.

Eventually Yanek is captured and taken to a concentration camp. Yanek stays in the camp for a little while and then is tr
Steve H.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I was younger I started reading this, and unbeknownst to me I ended up never finishing it. Until recently when my interest piqued into the works of WWII and I decided I would re-read/finish the book, and I am happy that I did.I would recommend this book to any WWII fanatic such as myself.
Aiden B.
This is a good book and I would recommend it. If you like WWII and like to learn about the conflict between Germany and Jewish people than this is the book for you.
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
very good book plz read ending is so happy
Lucrecia Ramos
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the book Prisoner B-3087. It is a book about a young Jewish boy named Yanek Gruener and his large family who lived in Krakow, Poland in the 1940's. During the time they lived, the Nazis were taking over the Jews because they didn't like the Jews by their differences and by how they were. I think that is not fair. Yanek and his family had been hiding so the Nazis wouldn't take them and kill them slowly by the inhumane, terrible things they had prepared to end the Jews. I thought t ...more
Dec 05, 2014 added it
I honestly really liked this book, because it made me realize about everything that has been done in the past. The book started out really good, up until the point where Poland was attacked. Yanek and his family survived 3 years in the ghetto. Yanek survived 10 concentration camps, where he got beat sometimes for no reason at all. Yanek saw when his parents where deported. Yanek never really lasted long in the concentration camps, for 3 years he moved from camp to camp. Meeting new people and se ...more
Damien Goodwin
I think that it is a really good book, and that I really recommend it.
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Y.A. readers and teachers
Finished this in one sitting because I could not put it down. Alan Gratz has blown me away with another great historical fiction drama; this one based on the actual accounts of two Holocaust survivors. Gratz’s writing is wonderful; the subject, however, is chilling, as all Holocaust books always are.
I think book belongs in all Y.A. history classrooms. For younger readers I think the content would be too disturbing.
Memorable Quotes:
(Pg.108)-“The Nazis were making us work just to work. This was a
Alex  Baugh
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
Imagine surviving 1 ghetto, 10 concentration camps and 2 death marches. Well, here is the story of a boy who did just that.

At 10 years old, Yanek Gruener's life means friends, school and most importantly, being surrounded by loving relatives all living in the center of Krakow, Poland. But his relatives know that soon something is going to happen - after all, they are Jews in a Europe that Hitler wants to make "Jew free." Sure enough, only six days after the German invasion of Poland, Nazi soldie
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
"If I had only known then what I know now, I would have run. I wouldn't have stopped to pack a bag, or say good-bye to my friends, or to even unplug my projector. None of us would have. We would have run for the woods outside of town and never looked back. But we didn't."
This book is based on a true story and like all books written about the holocaust this is a very sad one. It's about a boy- Yanek who lives in Poland with his Jewish parents and family and how they are moved to the ghetto then
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
10 concentration camps and 2 death Marches
Imagine having you life being taken away for you. Your family, your friends, your home, anything and everything that you ever had… Gone. This is what Yanek had to go through. He had his family, friends and life taken away from him. After that he as sent to a concentration camp where he fought for survival. He is fighting for survival becuase it is just a game to the Germans and he want to win. Hard work, little food, harsh condition, will he be able to
Alex (The Scribe Owl)
This was a scarily descriptive book about a Jewish boy bounced around through concentration camps by the Nazis. He survived the unsurvivable and made it out the other side. This is also the real story of Jack Gruener, and it's almost impossible to think that he survived all of that.

Overall, a decent book for being assigned it by school, but it was also middle grade, which meant that it was toned down a little. If Alan Gratz had changed it up just a little, it could have made even more of an impa
Keagan S.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Overall just an amazing book. Strongly recommended to anyone.
Ryleigh Green
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: trimester-1
I absolutely loved this book because it told me a lot about the horrible things that Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jewish and I can't even believe about the horrible things that the Jewish had to go through just because they weren't German. I could never imagine what they went though. This book was by far one of the greatest books I have ever read and I am so glad that I read it. To read this book did not take me very long because I was reading this non stop because it was so good and I was ju ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Nikhil by: Sir Adam Kohn
This book is bested on the true story of a Jewish boy named Yanek, who lived in Poland during WWII. When the Germans came to occupy Poland, they forced Yanek and other Jews into tightly packed Ghettos. Most of Yanek's family was taken away to various places, never to be seen again. Then, Yanek was taken away to a concentration camp. He moved through 9 others. He got a tattoo on his arm "B-3087" which was his prisoners number. Yanek changed his name to Jack Gruener at the end of the war and moved ...more
Trigger warnings: Holocaust, violence, concentration camps, death of a parent, death of a friend, death of a family member, war, executions, genocide.

This is an absolutely fascinating and largely true story. But at the same time, I wanted it to be longer. This book is only 260 pages and yet it covers Yanek's childhood in Poland, the outbreak of war, his family hiding on the roof of their apartment building, and then his experiences in TEN different concentration camps. And while I was hooked to
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good.

This book was really good and way to read. It kept you hooked from the beginning.I'm glad these stories are told so people won't forget
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I actually really liked this book. It's about a kid named Yanek, he liked school, his family and his friends. At first Yanek and his family got away with hiding in a pigeon coop, but soon after they were dragged to go work at camps. Eventually they got Yanek and at his first camp he found his Uncle Moshe, but soon realizes the rest of his family were dead. Each day Yanek kept on getting weaker and weaker, since they didn't feed them much. Thorough the whole story the Nazis treated them pretty ba ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Halle Williams- Review 8 2 6 Apr 29, 2021 12:26PM  
Tarryn Baker Review 8 2 3 Apr 22, 2021 07:47PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Night Divided
  • The Enemy Above: A Novel of World War II
  • Resistance
  • Making Bombs for Hitler
  • Out of Hiding: A Holocaust Survivor’s Journey to America (With a Foreword by Alan Gratz)
  • Stolen Girl
  • The War Below
  • Don't Tell the Nazis
  • Trapped in Hitler's Web
  • Prisoner of War
  • Words on Fire
  • The Boy Who Dared
  • My Survival: A Girl on Schindler's List
  • The War That Saved My Life (The War That Saved My Life, #1)
  • Restart
  • Number the Stars
  • Out of My Mind
  • A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story
See similar books…
Alan Gratz is the bestselling author of a number of novels for young readers. His 2017 novel Refugee has spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, and is the winner of 14 state awards. Its other accolades include the Sydney Taylor Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the Cybils Middle Grade Fiction Award, a Charlotte Huck Award Honor, and a Malka Penn Award for Human ...more

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
58 likes · 30 comments
“If I had known what the next six years of my life were going to be like, I would have eaten more. I wouldn't have complained about brushing my teeth, or taking a bath, or going to bed at eight o'clock every night. I would have played more. Laughed more. I would have hugged my parents and told them I loved them. But I was ten years old, and I had no idea of the nightmare that was to come. None of us did.” 38 likes
“Life is but a river. It has no beginning, no middle, no end. All we are, all we are worth, is what we do while we float upon it — how we treat our fellow man.” 28 likes
More quotes…