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The Librarian of Auschwitz

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  45,942 ratings  ·  5,058 reviews
Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terr
Hardcover, 424 pages
Published October 20th 2017 by Henry Holt (first published September 18th 2012)
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Vilija It's awesome that your nine year old can read at such a high level! My concern would be that the subject matter may not be appropriate for a reader he…moreIt's awesome that your nine year old can read at such a high level! My concern would be that the subject matter may not be appropriate for a reader her age. I recommend that you read the book first, and then decide if she's ready for it--you'll be the best judge of what she can handle. Good luck!(less)
Ranette Number the Stars is much closer to her age level. As an elementary school teacher, this book is past her understanding, and much too cruel for her to …moreNumber the Stars is much closer to her age level. As an elementary school teacher, this book is past her understanding, and much too cruel for her to read. There are many advanced novels that are more appropriate for her, like A Wrinkle in Time.(less)

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Chris Horsefield
After reading some classic Holocaust novels such as Night (The Night Trilogy, #1) by Elie Wiesel Night| by Elie Wiesel and the classic The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank or even great young adults novels such as The Edelweiss Express (Edelweiss Pirates #2) by Mark A. Cooper The Edelweiss Express, or the amazing The Book Thief by Markus Zusak The Book Thief.
I felt Antonio Iturbe and The Librarian of Auschwitz was out of its league.
It lacked passion, emotion and the book was slow in many places and many of the characters less than interesting. The flashbacks, the asides, the sudden shift in POV, it just
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is a difficult for me to rate, as i have found to be the case with many WWII/holocaust stories that are based on real life people but written as a work of fiction.

for most of the book, this was a solid 3 stars. not phenomenal, but not horrible either. i think that iturbe was a little out of his league choosing this kind of story for his debut. its slow, almost boring, in a lot of places with sterile writing and sporadic POV shifts in the narration. im not sure if this is a translation issu
Macy_Novels at Night
I sit back and I close my eyes. I imagine my five daughters, and the life that they live today. They have friends, clothes, make-up, and they adore school just the same as every teenaged Jew girl had done. I get to the part in my mind that imagines our family being ripped apart, and the chaos and confusion that all those people and children surely felt during the war. It is unbearable, and I open my eyes. I cannot bear to even imagine what they all must have went through, none the less having to ...more
Elyse Walters
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I knew I’d read this eventually.

It took a few chapters to get that ‘hooked’ feeling...(part of it might’ve been my mental debate)....I’ve owned the ebook since it was released - but when one has read as many books about the holocaust as I have ( as many of us have)....we begin to tiptoe cautiously —

I’m sure it’s been said before… “The book cover is gorgeous!”

At some point, I was all in - ‘hooked’ - transported to a children’s school,- “Block 31” within a ‘family camp’, in Auschwitz - written fr
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
It is always a revelation when you read a book about someone who at such a young age took on a role that was not only dangerous but also one in which death awaited her if she was caught.

Dita Strauss was a mere fourteen years old when she and her parents arrived at Auschwitz. They were assigned to the family camp and as all were assigned to work, Dita went to work in the school. There she meets Freddy Hirsch, the Jewish leader in charge of the children of Auschwitz. He gives her an assignment. Sh
I won't say a word against the content, because it is worthy. I've read a few books about the Holocaust, both fiction and non fiction. I only vaguely knew about books, but never about the librarian running such a clandestine operation in a death camp like Auschwitz. I'm really glad I read about Dita Kraus (Dita Adler in the book). No matter how many times I read about Nazi atrocities it still doesn't fail to shock me.

But, overall, the book didn't work for me because of the way it was written (o
Deacon Tom F
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly wonderful book! The authors’ weave a lovely tale about the importance of books in the brutal environment of the Nazi concentration camps.

It is packed with emotions that draws the reader into the heart of the story. Of course, as a committed reader, the importance of teaching children to read is a value I cherish.

It was a very fast read for me. I could not put it down.

I highly recommend.
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
The afterword was amazing! Have you read it? I need to compose my thoughts now for that review to follow.
Stephanie Anze
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
"They are holding something that is absolutely forbidden in Auschwitz. These items, so dangerous that their mere possession is a death sentence, cannot be fired, nor do they have a sharp point, a blade, or a heavy end. These items, which the relentless guards of the Reich fear so much, are nothing more than books: old, unbound, with missing pages, and in tatters."

Dita Adlerova is barely starting her teen years when WWII breaks out. Originally from Prague, Dita's family along with other Jewish fa
Dash fan
5☆ Poignant and Heartbreakingly Authentic.
A Must Read!

First of all I just want to take a moment to admire the cover, it's absolutely stunning and I think it represents the book perfectly.

THE LIBRARIAN OF Auschwitz is a very poignant, raw, and thought provoking read, it's an atmospheric and powerful read.
It's based on a true untold story which makes it even more special and Heartbreakingly authentic.

I don't want to go into the plot very much as i think this is a book you need to discover for your
I found this book to be very well-researched into the atrocities that occurred in Hitler's death camps, namely Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen; however, I thought the title to be a little misleading. The portions about Dita Kraus, the fourteen-year old "librarian", could have easily fit into a chapter or two since the majority of the story focuses on other Jewish prisoners (including a small portion about Anne and Margot Frank!) and some Nazi officials and/or guards and how they all fared d ...more
* A Reader Obsessed *
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, fiction, z-2018
5 Stars

My thoughts are definitely inadequate as to how to convey the horrific atrocities that occurred during this time in history that many would like to forget or ignore.

This story needs to be known because it’s one of survival amongst such evil, as well as an amazing feat of triumph despite the astronomical losses.

The struggle to hold onto one’s humanity in such despair, to grab onto some semblance of normalcy, and the action of defiance that bred hope to live another day was all portrayed h
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-btr
I was satisfied with this book, as a librarian myself I enjoyed reading about an unknown side story in the Holocaust that focuses in books, while the story happened in a tragic background ( a German concentration camp) , it focuses in how the main character “Dita” was able to hide books from the Germans while in the camp and help kids learn from them as long she could . Since this story has a background in truth we learn a lot about the daily life in a concentration camp and how horrible it was ...more
Erin Clemence
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Death has become an industry that is profitable only if it is done wholesale.”

“The Librarian of Auschwitz” by Antonio Iturbe is classified as young adult, historical fiction (based in reality, obviously). However, this novel is so much more than that.

Fourteen year old Dita is imprisoned with her family in an Auschwitz concentration camp. When she is asked by a Jewish leader to take on the role of handling the books for the makeshift school, Dita immediately agrees. Books are hard to come b
Veronica ⭐️
3.5 stars
The Librarian of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus. It is a story born of Dita’s experiences and the rich imagination of the author.

The story is set in the family camp at Auschwitz. The family camp was a cover the Germans concocted to deceive the world as to what was really happening in Auschwitz. While parents laboured during the day the children were gathered in Block 31. The aim was for them to play games, s
Antonio Iturbe did a ton of research, cobbling together the actual experiences of 14-year old Dita Kraus, who survived both Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and other real stories, such as the most well documented escape from Auschwitz. Dita and her parents were first relegated to the Terezin ghetto, before being sent to the concentration camp. Dita is brave and steadfast, and becomes the librarian of a barrack used as a school in case of an inspection. She hides a small handful of diverse books. Rea ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Librarian of Auschwitz is a sobering account of one girl's survival at Auschwitz. I've read a number of books detailing the Nazi's most infamous death camp Auschwitz so was expecting the devastating descriptions of the appalling living conditions and inhumane treatment of the prisoners. What I wasn't expecting was the glimpse of hope and humanity the prisoners of building 31 managed to preserve.

Who knew that a family unit existed at Birkeneau? For what purpose would such a unit exist??? In a
Wanda Pedersen
I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but I must admit that I was hoping for more. The story itself is fascinating and that’s what kept me reading. The writing was pedestrian, which was a disappointment. Still, I would recommend the book to those looking for an inspirational story concerning Auschwitz.

The narrative closely follows Dita Kraus, a 14 year old girl in the Auschwitz family camp and her experiences as the keeper and protector of eight forbidden books. I was interested that one of them was
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe was a heartbreaking tale of the terrible treatment of the people at Auschwitz and a girl trying to keep the few books she has safe at any cost.
I found parts of the book confusing because it jumped about to different time periods but the story will stay with me for a long time.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Nicole aka FromReading2Dreaming

I love WWII history and learning more about the Holocaust, but I have to say that this book was extremely boring. To me it read more like a history textbook than an amazing story. One thing I do have to say is that the translation from Spanish to English was very good. I might revisit this book again when I am in the mood for a historical fiction, but decently not any time soon.
May 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: garbage
Nope ! Please don't trivialize the Holocaust with implausible adolescent concentration camp love stories . What next , a musical ? ...more
Tracy Fenton
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t review this book properly because I don’t feel I have the words to do this story justice and honestly, my opinion is really inconsequential when it comes to the real life stories of WWII. I am lucky that none of my family were caught up in the atrocities of Auschwitz, however being Jewish we all know someone who was/is affected by this war.

The Librarian of Auschwitz is a book I chose to read with my real life book club and in order to read this book I had to mentally prepare myself becau
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
DNF. I don't think reading this would give the readers a true-to-life understanding of just how horrible Auschwitz was.

I might give this book another go, later. Maybe. Still, this is likely a yet another attempt to downplay the atrocities that were really happening to real people, like we are, in concentration camps. It's after reading all the light-hearted stories, like this one, that people start believing that 'poor health insurance policy is fascistic' (I'm not kidding: http://humanevents.c
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
Incredibly moving.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it

How amazing to find out that there was a secret little library in Auschwitz, that even in the heart of the depressing evil there was still something that served as a preservation of their humanity. And how amazing that the author was actually able to meet with and interview the young, inspirational librarian herself.

The format of the book itself was interesting, somewhat confusing. It read like a nonfiction piece in some parts and like a novel in others. I can’t imagine the amount of research i

Mariah Roze
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very interesting! This is based off a true story.

"Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The heart-wrenching book based on the inspirational Dita Kraus deserves five stars for the story alone. Usually I reserve five star ratings for books where not only does the story speak to me but the prose really sings. This was not the case for this book. Although the writing is mundane in places; the telling of the horrors that Dita and her family and friends endured, emotionally impacted me so much that it was hard to be too critical on the writing style(which may have just been the translati ...more
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To start with, this book does not come about as gripping and "unputdownable" as is the case with some other Holocaust literature and war fiction. Or maybe I felt so because of this being a highly anticipated book. Regardless, the pace of the book picks up after about 60% of it has been read. The characters seem a bit flimsy n dull n so does the prose, maybe its different in Italian, but the translation despite being smooth and plain lacks some characteristic elements of a striking piece of prose ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Any book about the Holocaust is difficult to read, but one that takes place solely inside Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, is even harder still. I had to put this book down many times, as I could only take so much of the daily butality, sadistic cruelty, and disregard for human life. To go through that horror, to see family, friends, and neighbors put to death, or die from beatings, disease or starvation, and to live with it day after day, praying that you'll live to see another day, and t ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star
This is one of those rare and special books that will stay with me for a long time now that I have reached its conclusion. Originally written in Spanish, and well translated into English, the story is based on the true life events of Dita Kraus. The author cleverly combines Dita’s real life experiences with imaginative conversations and events; something I thought was near impossible with such a sensitive subject.

This book is highly emotive and demonstrates the power and beauty of the written wo
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Antonio González Iturbe (Zaragoza, 1967) creció en el barrio portuario de Barcelona y se licenció en Ciencias de la Información en la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Lleva veinte años dedicado al periodismo cultural. Ha sido coordinador del suplemento de televisión de El Periódico, redactor de la revista de cine Fantastic Magazine y trabaja desde hace dieciséis años en la revista Qué Leer, de l ...more

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