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Destined to Live: A True Story of a Child in the Holocaust

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  451 ratings  ·  66 reviews
What would you do if your whole life was shattered, and you were forced into hiding? This gripping, poignant memoir about coming of age during The Holocaust explores that question.

Pretty, carefree Aurelia Gamser (known today as Ruth Gruener) had an idyllic life in 1930s Poland -- until violent acts of anti-Semitism and the deportation of Jewish families to concentration ca
paperback, 156 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Scholastic (first published October 1st 2007)
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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  451 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Easy to read. Reading level grade 6. I was drawn to the story. Picked the book up and finished it in a few hours. Worth your time to read. My heart goes out to all who suffered; perished or survived, in the Holocaust.
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
The book Destined to Live: A True Story of a Child in the Holocaust, was sad, but although it has a happy ending, there are still some disturbing parts. I just finished it so ideas are still fresh in my mind. The antagonist in this story is not only one particular person, Hitler, but all a group of people, the Nazis. Luncia, the main character in Destined to Live, was put through the hard times of World War II. Luncia, her mother, Barbara, and her father, Isaac (Tatu was his nickname meaning 'Da ...more
Mary Clare
Poignant account of the author’s experience as a young Jewish girl who was successfully hidden in Poland during World War II. The odd lack of chapter breaks will make this more challenging than necessary for the intended audience.
Mahrysa York
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is about the Holocaust and the troubles that one girl and her family had to face during it. This is a very good book and I'd definitely suggest it.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cooper Hutfless



21 January 2016

Destined to Live by Ruth Gruener

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have to hide in small, tight spaces? Then have to sneak around the streets just to get a small piece of bread? In the book Destined to Live by Ruth Gruener it tells the story of how a young girl named Luncia survived the Holocaust. I read this book because I had never learned about the holocaust, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.
In the beginning of th
Lauren H
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A young girl Luncia, now known as Ruth tells her tales of hiding to survive the Holocaust. Destined to Live is a true story of a young girl who survived the Holocaust with her family. She starts her story by telling about her early life and how she was well off and very blessed. However as the war progresses, she tells of how she has to give her bedroom to another family, how her fathers candy shop must close, how she loses her toys, dolls and beautiful dresses and the loss of her home. She is s ...more
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Destined to Live is a story of a young girl Luncia or now known as Ruth, and her life as a young Jewish girl in the Holocaust. Written by herself she tells of how she grew up having everything she needed, beautiful dolls, fancy dresses, piano lessons, and treats at her parents candy shop. But, as the war starts her life takes a turn for the worst. She is forced to move out of her room so others can come live in it. She then goes through akzia's or deportations and hides in uncomfortable situatio ...more
Feb 16, 2012 added it
Destined to Live, written by Ruth Gruener, has a well constructed plot of the life of a child during the Holocaust. The Holocaust is an authentic setting in this book and is very identifiable because of all the horror that happened during the Holocaust. The Characters are believable and consistent because they are real people and this is their experience of how they were destined to live. The engaging writing style describes near death experiences with imaginative words. This book is first perso ...more
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii
This Scholastic book was written for younger readers but it is an excellent story for any age. Of course, the events are not detailed in this book as they would be if written for adult readers, but enough of Ruth Gruener's story was told to be interesting and informative. I am so glad that those who survived are now telling their stories. Whether people went to camps or survived by hiding, the courage these people exhibited was amazing. Read this book and discuss it with your 5th grade and above ...more
Jul 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
A great book for anyone, but is age appropriate for a 3rd to 4th grader.
Dec 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Easy, quick read, but interesting story on survival.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had read the Prisoner B-3087 by the same author and liked it — the story of Jack Greuner who survived 10 camps!

The copy I read is a Scholastic edition so I don’t know if there are differences in the editions. This one did read very simply. As much as I keep reading historical memoirs and historical fiction, I’m always surprised to get immersed in new situations — this one not of concentration camps or escape, but hiding. Unlike Anne Frank, Aurelia Gamser knew about what was going on around he
Alfredo Barajas
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Destined to Live is a really good book to learn about the holocaust that took place in World War II. The writing was very effective and powerful which is what made me get me more interested into the book. The book was really adventurous because she kept moving from place to place. I would recommend this book to anybody that wants to lean about the holocaust and what people had to go through. The strengths of this book is the way things were exaggerated which gave alot of detail and emotion. Over ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
My 11 year old son bought me this book for Christmas.
It is a great book for reading level 10-13!
My only real problem is a lack of timeline updates. It felt like years got glosses over and I couldn’t keep track of how old she was.
Otherwise a fantastic age appropriate introduction to this terrible time in history to young readers.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Not as well written as Prisoner B-3087, but surely powerful. This is the true story, no novelization, of Luncia, who one day goes on to marry the hero of the companion book. She does a good job of detailing the mixed emotions of those committed to helping the Jews escape the Holocaust. So much so, that I found myself struggling to like the people who were helping her.
Joe Holman
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for young people to read. A good way to remind themselves that they have it lots better than the author did as a child. Her simple statement about her kindergarten class is powerful and haunting. Let us never forget so that things like this never happen again.
This was a great read. It's short enough for younger readers to learn about what went on during the Holocaust. Not too many overpowering details but just enough to keep it interesting for readers. Thank you for sharing your story!
Mellanie C
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a true story of a girl who survived the Holocaust by being hidden by her neighbors. I felt so bad for young Ruth, or Luncia, as she was known then. What I find even more interesting is that there is a second book, featuring the boy who would grow up to become Ruth's husband.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Maya by: My teacher
Shelves: love-it
WOW, that really shoked me. I am in dibelief that she could really portray her feelings like that. I HAVE to say that was like one of the most moving books I have ever read. WOW!
Sai Sruthi
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A book that touched my heart way back in 8th grade.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice short read. Although, it is quite sad.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This account shows the story of those who survived by hiding... and how in many cases that life wasn't a life. It also shows there are a special few who were "destined to live"
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: educational, history
This is a true story about a Jewish girl in hiding in the Holocaust. This is a great book and I learned a lot about the holocaust and World War 2. All thanks to this book!
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is a great historical young readers story of surviving the Holocaust.
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another good book for students about the Holocaust, perhaps for a bit older students (upper elementary or middle schoolers?).
Ava Hawkins
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting and i’m glad i read it,but it also makes me feel bad for the people who had too endure the holocaust,and who lost family members.
Amanda Kincaid
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting and always made me want to read more of it. I greatly suggest to read it.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Preteens and up.
Amazing. Ruth wrote this book as if she was living through it all again. She was an amazing girl to survive and then thrive so beautifully. I would like to read the book again some day.
Rachel Howland
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quick, easy read
Madison Green
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Class read together
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Ruth Gruener is a Holocaust survivor. She married Holocaust survivor Jack Gruener and they both currently live in New York, America.