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

Within These Walls

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Whatever is coming, we'll face it together, as a family. As long as we're together, we'll be okay. For Miri and her family, life in Warsaw is full of simple joys. The smell of freshly baked challah, the promise of summer holidays, and Fridays when everyone comes together to celebrate the Sabbath. But when the Germans march into Warsaw with their campaign of hatred against ...more
Paperback, First, 251 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by Scholastic Australia
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 Within These Walls, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Within These Walls

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  240 ratings  ·  37 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Within These Walls
Nusrat Mahmood
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: most-favorite
Book Review:
Within These Walls
By Robyn Bavati

First solid 5 star books of 2020!!!

Middle grade book always enchants me. Because there are so many things you have to be sensitive. So writing a wwii fiction for middle grade is hard because you cannot cover up the violence on a warzone and have to describe the tale of the oppressed and the oppressor very tactfully. I am so glad I took this book where Robyn Bavati wonderfully wrote a story of a Jew family during wwii.
My love for historical fiction is
Trigger warnings: Holocaust. Death of a parent. Death of a sibling. War.

I had high hopes for this to be the next Once. And perhaps my hopes were too high? But this was...meh.

The author says in her note at the back that a lot of this story is based on actual things that happened to actual Jewish children living in Warsaw during the war.

This is not a long book. It's only 250 pages.

And there are SO. MANY. HORRIBLE. THINGS. that happen to the main character during the course of this story. Almost
Kirsten McKenzie
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-s
This review was written by my ten year old daughter who read this book at school:

"It was really good! It explains all about Miri's freedom and life before the nazis took her and her family.
It got a bit creepy when they got delivered to the ghetto but it is really heartwarming.
I definitely give this book 10 out of 10!"
Anna Ciddor
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story is told through the eyes of Miri, a young Jewish girl living in Warsaw, Poland. The book begins with a prologue giving us a brief glimpse – and warning – of the dark days of war Miri is about to experience, but then we are drawn back into the warm, happy atmosphere of her life in pre-war Poland. These early scenes of market stalls and holidays, depicted in loving detail, are shattered by the arrival of the first bombs and the reader experiences the tensions and uncertainties of those ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Within these walls is an inspirational and captivating book that will draw you in within each word. The storyline is brilliant and will change your views and mindset. Within these walls made me grateful for everything I have and will definitely read again !!
Charlotte Blyth
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book and a nice ending and a really good message.
Kylie Purdie
May 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-reads, cbc-2017
This has been shortlisted for the Australian Children's Book Council Younger Reader book of the Year.

Hmmm, a quick look the reviews for this book and it's quite obvious I'll be going against the grain here.
I've long had an interest in the Holocaust and the experiences of Jews during World War 2. I've read a lot of fiction and non fiction on the subject both as an adult and a child. Growing up, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit was one of my favourite books. (really should re-read that). I'm always
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
Authentic and well researched.
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I read a lot of holocaust novels and for me this one has a few problems. Bavati mentions in her endnotes that she had a check list (my term, not hers I think) of "real" situations and events and experiences that she had researched in preparing to write this story. Unfortunately her determination to do the research (and subject) justice, has limited the story's success. I never felt I knew this family, or main character as I have done with say, Morris Gleitzman's Soon series. Instead, it feels as ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Australian author Robyn Bavati writes: “When first approached about writing this book, I wasn’t sure I was up to the task… I felt an enormous responsibility to get it right… While I invented the character of Miri, I did not invent anything she did, saw, felt, or witnessed.”
Bavati’s approach is key to the appeal of Within These Walls. This painful and compelling story is told by Miri, a Polish-Jewish adolescent and young teen during World War II. We first see her surrounded by her family and pre
Helen O'Toole
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this because we are planning on having it for our older primary school aged readers. Definitely a very well researched book about the horrors of the Warsaw Ghetto. The descriptions of Jewish family life prior to the invasion of Poland by the Nazis are simply written yet so affecting as you know that their lives are about to change utterly. The main character, Miri, is very believable and the reader definitely feels her agony as each new atrocity occurs. As it is for a junior audience, the ...more
2017 Younger Reader Short List. Read for presentation.
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set in Warsaw in the lead up and through the duration of Polish occupation, Within These Walls is told through the eyes of 11 year old Miri and her Jewish family. Pre-war family life is idyllically capture and but when the Germans march into Warsaw with their campaign of hatred against the Jews, Miri and her family must move to the ghetto. As hardship increases and the ghettos shrinks, Miri's family diminishes as, one by one, they are taken from her, and she is left alone.

Bavati has undergone co
Megan Liwanag
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie (Bookish.Intoxication)
I picked this book up at the library, on a whim.
I have always been drawn to books that have the WWII content matter. I can't tell you why, other than I tend to find them in the biggest stacks of books.

This book is well written and easy to read, which is fantastic considering its target audience is middle-school aged children. And although it talks about dead bodies and starvation and people being executed, I think it is a pretty tame interpretation of the time.

I also feel that up until the last
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
It is so wonderful that there is an ever-growing number of children’s books dealing with the Holocaust. Such an incredibly important topic that we never want to forget, because we never want to repeat its horrors. In ‘Within These Walls’, Robyn Bavati has skilfully and sensitively covered this dreadful period of history in a way that makes it suitable for younger readers - I would suggest from Upper Primary onwards. And like all good children’s novels, it is written in such a way as to give suff ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A perfect middle school read to introduce and educate on the Holocaust. The story is told by Miri, a Jewish girl living in Warsaw, Poland with her family.
The writing is simple and matter-of-fact, not pulling any punches on the gradual loss of rights for the Jews, the hardships and discrimination they face.
Miri and her family endure so much with stoicism and bravery, but the writer does not shy away from the grim reality of this time for the Jewish people, and Miri experiences hunger, fear, and
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading the reviews for this book here on Goodreads I was feeling somewhat despondent. I think reviewers need to remember this is a kids book, it is fiction based on fact and it isn't a glorified, or even raw account of fact. I feel this book presents some truths about the Holocaust especially for younger readers, those who may not know, or understand. It deals with death, hatred and the misery of life under the Nazi's in Poland honestly, but not overwhelmingly. I'm happy I read this, it w ...more
Patricia Baker
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wondered why there seemed so many familiar aspects to this story till I got to the acknowledgments at the end. The author has only included things which are from firsthand accounts. Reminded me of The Pianist I used with my Year 11 students.
Miri and her family are forced into the Warsaw ghetto once the Germans take over the city. The family believes it will be OK if they stay together but the cruelty they face on so many levels breaks them apart. Miri promises her mother she will do whatever it
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
This heart wrenching book based on true experiences is written through the eyes of a young girl and her story of the Holocaust. I had to fight back tears throughout the entire book! It is powerful, realistic, and terribly, terribly sad. But, as with all survival of the Holocaust stories, my heart goes out to them and I feel so much respect for these brave, strong people. This is an incredible read.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From Riva Silbert (8 1/2 years old);
I really connected with this book. It was sad but it was happy. I loved this book and really, really recommend it to anybody looking at these comments.
The characters in this book were very happy to me, but then also very strict and I loved the way the writer has set out this book. I learned a lot from this book and it really made me appreciate the little things that I take for granted.
Oscar Wright
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was very hard to put down. The author did incredibly well to make to it intriguing to the reader in every page, and connected with the reader very well emotionally. As well as this, the reader always felt sorry for the main character through all her struggles, and made it all that extra intriguing. This is one of my favourite books of all time
Anna Davidson
A well-written story that vividly describes a child's experience in Warsaw during World War 2. A good introduction to this genre for mature upper primary students. A CBCA shortlisted book this year.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent novel. Thought provoking and challenging. Written from the perspective of a Jewish child witnessing and surviving unimaginable racial hatred.
Diane Smith
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very sad
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was really good. I recommend it for children 11+. The book could be found tragic, but the information and message it gives is really good. I really loved this book.
Kyesha Miller
i really would love to read this book
Alicia Elizabeth
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Olivia B
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely beautiful book. Captivating depiction of what life was like for a Jewish child in war times and brought tears to my eyes. Definitely recommend this to anyone!
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Dog Runner
  • How to Bee
  • Sick Bay
  • The Boy Who Steals Houses
  • Soon
  • Then
  • Now
  • Lenny's Book of Everything
  • After the Lights Go Out
  • Maybe
  • How It Feels to Float
  • Two Wolves
  • After
  • Ghost Bird
  • Cry Blue Murder
  • All That Impossible Space
  • This is How We Change the Ending
  • Nameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness, #1)
See similar books…
Robyn Bavati lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is married and has three grown-up children and a cat called Chino, who likes to sit on her lap when she reads.

Robyn has so many favorite books she can't possibly list them all. Right now she's loving The Family With Two Front Doors by Anna Ciddor and The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky.

Related Articles

Children's books featuring bold and brave girls are both becoming easier for parents to find, and also cover a large range of...
130 likes · 47 comments