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Malka Mai

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  688 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
When the round-ups start in the Polish village, Malka's mother knows she must get her daughters across the Hungarian border to safety--a place where Jews can live in peace. But escape proves harder than they could have ever imagined. Raw and bleeding feet, bad weather, fear and homesickness fill their nights, until little Malka falls very ill, and must be left behind to be ...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published January 31st 2004 by Beltz GmbH, Julius (first published 2002)
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LH Johnson
Hannah Mai and her two daughters, Minna and Malka, live in Lawoczne in Poland. It's 1943, life for Jews is becoming precarious and so Hannah takes the difficult decision to leave their home and escape over the mountains to the refuge of Hungary. On the journey, Malka, the youngest daughter, becomes separated from the others and it's from that point that the book splits into two separate narratives - the story of Malka, and the story of her mother and Minna.

Written originally in German and transl
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so incredible, but it was heartbreaking to watch Malka lose her childhood.
Martine Letterie
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Van het lezen van dit boek kreeg ik buikpijn. Zo dichtbij komt het aangrijpende waargebeurde verhaal van Malka Mai, een joods Pools meisje dat met haar moeder en zus naar Hongarije vlucht. Omdat ze ziek is, laat haar moeder haar achter bij een familie die belooft haar na te zullen brengen. Die belofte wordt niet nagekomen. Malka Mai komt in het getto van een nabijgelegen Poolse stad, waar ze uiteindelijk het in haar eentje moet zien te redden.
Presser vertelt het verhaal vanuit twee perspectieve
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book was everything and more. I have always been interested in the history of the Holocaust, but this book really expressed the fear of the Jews during that time, specifically through the eyes of a 7-year-old girl, Malka Mai.

Pressler wrote this book after speaking to Malka Mai (a real individual) about her childhood experience, though she mentions that many fictional details were added. In the book, Malka lives with her mother, Hannah, and older sister, Minna. They receive warnings sa
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when i was about 12 years old. Now I'm 14, and still love this book. I was always interested in History, and something about a Polish Girl living in WW2 is something so interesting for me, that i needed to read it. Yeah, it's very sad at some times, but the writing style and how she managed to write a Story just by some descriptions from the Real Life Girl is just Fascinating. For me it was just so great for me to have and read this book. It isn't one of your 500 pages stories, ...more
I ran out of books to read during a class so I picked a random one given to my class library by the district. This one won!

This book is going to haunt me. It's loosely based on a true story, possibly the scariest genre of all.

The mother is driven. I never did figure out if she was driven by ambition or fear. She mentions several times that she is unable to keep still. While her drive is admirable in a doctor, it's not an asset for her children or her family. They seem to frequently come in seco
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(view spoiler) ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
* 3.5/5

1939, Nazi Germany invades and occupies Poland. Anti-Semitic laws wash over and take strong roots within the country. Those of Jewish ancestry are no longer regarded as Polish citizens. They become othered and are marked by the Star of David. 1942 – 1945, mass “operations”, “relocations”, and murder of the Jewish community begins. This is the period we find the Mai family in.

The story begins in 1943. It’s about a mother’s (Hannah Mai) difficult decision to leave her youngest daughter (Ma
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is based loosely on a true story, Malka Mai was taken from Poland by her mother during the war however being so young at the time she doesn’t remember and has suppressed a lot of her memories.

The story alternates between Malka’s point of view and her mothers. Malka doesn’t understand what is going on around her but because she is young and pretty she does when the affections of some who take her in briefly. In the end however she is still left hungry and alone. Hannah on the other han
Karen Almaraz
Malka Speak, 2005, 288pp;, $
Mirjam Pressler 0142402699
Lost Love: a book review of Malka

A life without your family can be very painful. Not being able to be with her or give her a hug is harsh. Especially, when you are going through a though time period like the Holocaust, and when you are ill. This is the life of seven year old Malka.

In the book, Malka, seven year old, Malka is living in a world full of fear and violence. As the Nazis are trying to roundup Jews, her mother wants to escape from
Matthew Perry
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Malka, a novel by Mirjam Pressler, is about a girl who becomes lost and alone, and long separated from her family. Hannah Mai, her mother, is frantic about losing her and does everything in her ability to gain her back. The Mai family lived in Poland, but had to move to Hungary to escape the invading Nazis. The character's seem real, and have a lot of depth. Malka is shy, prefers to be alone, and wants to feel satisfied. Hannah is a stressed mother who worries about Malka, longing to know where ...more
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Malka Mai ist 7 Jahre alt und die zweite Tochter der in Lawoczne angesehenen Ärztin Hanna Mai.Als eines Tages jedoch die Deutschen in Lawoczne einfallen,haben sie große Angst verschleppt zu werden.Doch ein Offizier hilft ihnen und gibt Hanna den Tipp,mit den Kindern über die Grenze zu fliehen.Doch auf dem Weg wird Malka krank und Hanna lässt Malka schweren Herzens auf einem Bauernhof zurück und zieht mit Malkas Schwester Minna weiter.Doch sie verspricht Malka,sie zurückzuholen.Malka jedoc
Deb Mcintyre
This was an absorbing book that follows a Jewish family in Poland over a six month period in 1943-1944. It is based on the memories of the real Malka, who was 7-8 at the time of the story. It is told both through Malka's point of view and her mother's, so it is not necessarily a YA book. I'd recommend it for anyone age 12 and up who has an interest in the Holocaust. It especially shows how ordinary people - both Jews and Gentiles - did what they could in big and small ways to thwart Hitler's pla ...more
Vigh Piroska
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've had this book on my shelf for a long time. I saw my parents reading it, when I was younger. Always wanted to read it, but they said I'm too young for it.
So when I was about 17 years old, I figured I can read it now and I'll understand it.
I already knew enough about the time when Hitler was killing the Jews, so I knew what should I expect.
It was an emotional book. I could never feel the same thing the girl felt throughout her days. But at the same time, I could feel it with her, the fear, t
Kate Stone
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in the Holocaust
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
This book was sad. The main characters in this book are Malka, who I believe is around six years old, and her mother Hannah who had to leave her youngest daughter behind on their escape (mistakenly thinking her daughter would be cared for).

This girls story is just sad. It's a realistic look at how hard times really were for people. Now, I know I wasn't there so I can't really say I know, but from what I've read and learned it seems this book is a little less sugar-coated than some holocaust book
I read this many year ago for school. I was about 13 or 14 at the time. It's the first book I ever read about the second world war. This story is based of the live of a woman Mirjam Pressler met.

This book broke me to pieces.
I remember sobbing so much my eyes got swollen.

It's been about 10 year since I've read it and I still remember the story clearly.
I think that says enough about the book.
This book is the story of a young girl fending for herself during the Holocaust in Poland. The story is more amazing because it is based on actual events. It becomes very dark and depressing near the end, but then, the Holocaust was dark and depressing. The amazing thing is that this woman, Malka, survived at all, and that just goes to show that Yahweh can do anything.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story was wonderfully written and touching. The only reason I gave it four stars is because it was a bit difficult to get into at first. As someone who is fairly unfamiliar with some of the historical locations and background referenced in the book, it was hard to follow at times. Ultimately, though, it was a good read.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was a true story. some of the decisions malka's mother made i sure didn't understand and couldn't relate to. so much happened to the family and well, really to everyone who experienced this horrific event. this is supposed to be a children's book or young adult book but some of it was pretty graphic. some kids might have a hard time that. i enjoyed it though for the most part.
I really enjoyed this. My heart ached the entire time. The writing was a bit stilted and awkward to me, but it was a translation from German. The characters of both Malka and Hannah were very real. I would love to know the rest of the story after resettlement, and how the family dynamic was. I looked up Malka Mai and just found the German Wiki page about the book.
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ok wow! im the type of person that likes history, more specifically, i like to learn about the Holocaust. this book helped me imagine how tough it must have been for kids during that time.
it is a book that definitely gets you thanking those you love for all they've done and provided you with.
it is a MUST read
Jun 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parts of the story lost me, and there were phrases here and there that I felt didn't flow with the surrounding words. I have to be honest, I wasn't super impressed with this book (not to say that it was bad, because it wasn't, not at all), but the poignancy of the ending at least pulled it through.
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rarely seek out this kind of book, but when one does fall into my lap, I find myself hooked. I read this one in a few short days, and found myself quite emotional! It's a heartbreaking tale of one child's journey through the nazi era.
A well written picture of what it was like, the ghettos and the "relocation operations"
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While escaping Nazi-invaded Poland for the safety of Hungary with her mother and sister, Malka becomes very ill and must be left behind until her mother can return, but as time passes, Malka learns that she must rely on her own wits, strength, and courage to get her safely through the many dangers ahead.
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed everything about this book. I love how they switched the perspective between Malka and her mother. It's very interesting reading from the perspective of a young girl- it really hits you hard!
Nadine Preibisch
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Malka Mai is a jewish girl. Her mother left with the other daughter Nazi-Germany, but Malka was sick and wasnt able to walk the long way. So she stayed. A man and a woman took care about the girl, but because she was jewish, she was put into a ghetto. There she was very alone...
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2013
I liked this book because it was set around one of my fsvorite times to study, the holocaust. there were some moments that I didn't get and had to read over and over before I understood, but over all it was a good book and I enjoyed reading it.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Malka is a tear shedding book about a young girl that has to make her way across the border to hungary. To complete her task she has to be courageous and smart in every way. I think this book shows how girl power really works and how it shows.
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THis story occurs during the German/Nazi occupation. Her family thinks they are sfe but learns they are safe but later learns they are not. When they get separated Malka must learn to survive on her own.
A sad good book about the holocaust through the eyes of a young Jewish girl whose mother abandons her after telling her that "'a child will always find a way to survive.'" I felt like I was right there with Malka throughout the book.A must read.
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German writer Mirjam Pressler is the author of several novels that have won awards in her native Germany and also received high praise from critics after being translated into English. In Malka and Halinka Pressler focuses on young Jewish protagonists who have been forced by fate to endure the Holocaust, while in Shylock's Daughter she returns readers to fifteenth-century Italy as she attempts to ...more
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