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My Real Name Is Hanna

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  866 ratings  ·  298 reviews
Inspired by real Holocaust events, this poignant debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age story that will resonate with fans of The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray.

Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler’s army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in “free of Jews.” Until th
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Mandel Vilar Press (first published September 15th 2018)
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Angela M
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Abram Slivka (my Papa)
Eva Slivka (my Mama)
Hanna Slivka (14 years old, loves to read)
Leeba Slivka (12 years old, loves to sew)
Symon Slivka (10 years old, a really good bit who
Loves his dog) Ovid (our dog)
Steed (our horse)
We all lived in this house until October 12, 1942. If you
find this ,
say these names out loud, please, and bury this paper
in the yard.”

Maybe a request for some semblance of a proper burial. Perhaps a plea for remembrance. These are the words that Hanna buries in a tin in the
Amalia Gkavea
‘’As good as life looks now to us young children, there is still a sense of always looking over your shoulder for something to hit you.’’

This is one of the most beautiful books of the year. Based on the true story of a Jewish family living in Ukraine during the darkest period in History, the Second World War, it is a story of fear and struggle for survival, a fight for dignity and hope that refuse to be persecuted and die. Through the eyes of Hanna, a 14-year-old girl, we find ourselves in t
5 Stars for this poignant, beautifully written debut YA novel inspired by real Holocaust events

One of the most touching aspects of this book for me was the strength, determination, loyalty and love each of the characters showed during such a bleak and desperate time. It isn’t easy to sustain positivity during such a horrifying time. Yet, family, friendship, hope, culture, devotion and religious beliefs paid a pivotal role in sustaining the Jewish people through the darkest of times when all els
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

5 beautiful and transfixing stars to My Real Name is Hanna!

Some of the most meaningful, poignant books I have read have been about the Holocaust, and My Real Name is Hanna will be placed on that same shelf.

“I will say my real name to you for the first time. Hanna Slivka. Don’t be scared. I am still your mother. Born on February twenty-second, in the winter of 1928. Your grandmother often told me to remember this date because that is the day that God allowed me into this world to breath
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**This book was inspired by real Holocaust events

"I have lost everything that can ever be lost. I have given everything that can ever be given." - my family's MA - Holocaust Survivor

Hanna Slivka is almost fourteen years old when her entire world is turned upside down. Hitler's army has crossed into the Soviet occupied Ukraine. They are intent on making the land "free of Jews." Hanna's life goes from exploring with her siblings and helping her neighbor decorate psyanky eggs, to having rocks throw
Diane S ☔
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
STRUGGLE AND SURVIVAL in the Ukraine. Due to shifting borders, Hanna and her family, have been considered, Poles, Austrisns and Ukrainians. Changing tides once again threaten as the Germans are heading their way. As a Jewish family they are close, and close to many of their non Jewish neighbors. It is time though for them to go into hiding, as their village is to become Jewish free, as news reaches them of what is happening to the Jews who are taken.

Meant for. YA audience, the violence is there
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It's ok to cry, Hanna...crying is a form of breathing."

*ugly sobbing* 😩

Narrated in the voice of 14 year old Hanna, My Real Name is Hanna is the true story of a Jewish family on their quest for survival in the Ukraine during the Holocaust. The family eventually takes refuge in underground caves leaving them to try to make some semblance of a life while being cast in complete and total darkness.

"What is it like to take your last breath? What if the sound of it gave you away?"

*more ugly sobbing* 😩
"I am no longer afraid to walk in the dark."

In MY REAL NAME IS HANNA, a bright, courageous and clever young (soon to be) 14 year old narrates the story of her loving Jewish family as they navigate through the dangerous and deadly times of the holocaust. The Slivka's are good, caring people who don't harm anyone....just want to live in peace....but that is not to be.

As rumors of a Nazi invasion to a remote Ukraine strengthen, escape is the only answer to stay together....stay alive....or die on

Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a young girl named Hanna Slivka, and her family who are Jewish and live first in Poland, then in the Ukraine during the years of the Holocaust.
A story of love, family, and survival.
This family had to go to extremes to try and stay safe... always on alert, having to leave their home..first to the forests...then to the caves, and sticking together to survive. There were a few kind people along the way that were a help to them.. but surviving was immensely difficult!

I did like
“Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love”

--Dance Me to the End of Love, Leonard Cohen, Songwriters: Leonard Cohen

”I will say my real name to you for the first time. Hanna Slivka. Don’t be scared. I am still your mother. Born on February twenty-second, in the winter of 1928. Your grandmother often told me to remember this date because that is the
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My Real Name is Hanna voices the same single contentious issue that many other similar WWII books concern themselves with, but it stands alone as a masterpiece.

A masterpiece of the heart.

And it NEEDS to be read by ANY generation after those of the fifties and sixties. For these younger folk would profit most by it.

You see, my own postwar generation straddled two separate and almost irreconcilable epochs: the Traditionalist and the Postmodernist.

And you younger kids, whether you know it or not, h
The horrors that visit upon us.......and yet a flicker of life survives to tell.

Tara Lynn Masih touches words like paint to canvas in My Real Name Is Hanna. This novel reflects true happenings in a small town in Ukraine during Hitler's march after his occupation of Poland in 1939. Hanna speaks softly with the image of her daughter in mind as she reflects on those heart-heavy events forever embedded in her mind.

"My family told stories. We swallowed them in place of food and water. Stories kept us
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christine by: Angela M review
4.5 stars rounded to 5 stars

What an enthralling story! My Real Name is Hanna is an extraordinary debut novel based on the lives of an extended Jewish family that spent a year and a half hiding from the Germans in the Ukraine during World War II.

This story is told from the POV of Hanna, a teenage girl from a family of five. They, along with around another dozen other persons (extended family and friends) spend a hellacious 18 months just trying to survive in the deep forest and then a miles-long
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 stars

A haunting and devastating Holocaust story of one Jewish family’s struggle to survive. Hanna is thirteen years old and living in Soviet-occupied Ukraine when the Gestapo arrive in her small town to ‘eliminate all Jews’. She and her family, along with a neighbouring Jewish family, flee to the forest to hide out and avoid capture. From there, they must flee further, taking them into underground caves where they must battle starvation, isolation, complete darkness, constant dampness and di
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A problem I often have with Holocaust fiction is a tendency on the author's part to depict all Jews as saints. It's an understandable stance given what horrors they had to go through but it often doesn't make for compelling or sometimes even credible nuanced adult fiction (I'm thinking of The Invisible Bridge and We Were the Lucky Ones). We're asked to sympathise with a cast of idealised characters who perhaps belong more to a fairy story than a novel. An easy way around this problem perhaps is ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical novel fans, Literary readers, WW II readers, YA readers
Winner of THE JULIA WARD HOWE AWARD FOR YOUNG READERS, a FLORIDA BOOK AWARD, a FOREWORD BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD, a SKIPPING STONES HONOR AWARD, this is my first novel for young readers and adults, inspired by real events. Five years of research and writing went into My Real Name Is Hanna, inspired by a family who sought refuge in the gypsum caves of Ukraine during the Holocaust. The book, with its gorgeous cover and interior, is due out early Sept. 2018! (Update: translated to Slovak in 2019, my ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At the end of this book, set in the region of Galicia in the western Ukraine,the author tells us that less than 2% of the Jews who lived there survived WW2. That is a truly heartbreaking statistic and makes this novel based on a true story of survival even more poignant.

In 1942 Hanna Slivka is nearly 14, living in a small Ukrainian village where Jews and Christians live side by side in peace and harmony, when the Germans arrive to start the process of making the area judenfrei. Initially her fam
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
The story begins with us meeting Hannah as she tells her granddaughter “I will say my real name to you for the very first time” and from that very first sentence I was intrigued to learn Hanna’s story. She tell us the story of how her family came to their underground sanctuary, how they stayed alive, how their spirits were tested while the world above carried out their crimes.

My Real Name Hanna focuses on an Ukrainian Jewish family and their story of survival and sacrifice and is inspired by act
My Real Name is Hanna is a book that has come at the right time, a time when we all, young and old, need to be reminded of the cost of evil on and in society. We meet Hanna in her small Ukrainian village in 1941. Anti-semitism is rising, with taunting and school yard cruelty. Soon this will be replaced with more lethal threats but, for now, the Russians have taken control and have “only” limited all religious observances. If the Germans gain control of Ukraine, everything will change. Most of th ...more
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction
I was moved to read this book based on a Goodreads friend's review (Thanks, Annette)!

I can't believe this is a debut novel! A unique historical fiction story inspired by real people and events, one would have to have a heart of stone to not sympathize with these people in their struggle to survive. Taking place in Galicia, Ukraine (some of my grandparents emigrated from there to Canada), Hanna and her Jewish family live in the village of Kwasova, until Nazi occupation forced them to leave their
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to PattyMacDotComma by: Amalia Gkavea
“My family told stories. We swallowed them in place of food and water. Stories kept us alive in our underground sanctuary. The world continued to carry out its crimes above us, while we fought just to remain whole below.

Yesterday, daughter, you found my copy of Joan of Arc, hidden under dark rafters for many years.”
. . .
I close my eyes, and it’s as if I am there again, in the dark, trying to live to see another day.
So now it is my turn to tell you a story, my darling daughter. My story. F
My Real Name is Hannah is a beautifully written story based on a compilation of real life stories. 

The story is told from the perspective of a young Ukrainian girl set during WWII. It is the story of struggle and survival at a time when it was a death sentence to be a Jew. I was unclear while reading the book if it was meant to be for adults or, perhaps, teens but the simplistic writing style would suggest that latter. One of the aspects that I most enjoyed was the author's inclusion of Ukrainia
Elyse  Walters
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The world felt so still yesterday, but today, it all seems to be moving around us again”.

I’ve been meaning to read this young adult book forever. I knew it would be it’s inspired by a real family - The Stermer family -Jews living in Ukraine during the Holocaust.

A quick young adult read that I enjoyed very much.
I cried at the end ... was really touched.
The author touched my heart. Tara’s writing was soooo lovely - and yes, TENDE
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-2
One of the first sentences that grabbed me in this one was the one that talked about geography and where exactly Hana’s story is set. If you’re from a large or fairly isolated country, it may be easy to overlook how fluid boundaries and borders are historically. And when Hana remarks that the place she lives has been called Austria, Poland, and the date the story starts is part of Ukraine, it really hits home. And also sets the stage for the cultural cruelty described—the Russian government tryi ...more
Hannah Greendale
A celebration of Jewish culture and a devastating account of one Jewish family’s struggle to escape the Nazis by hiding in a nearby underground cave, as told through the eyes of the compassionate, fourteen-year-old Hanna Slivka. Masih paints a portrait of Ukraine using rich sensory language and balances the beauty of before against the brutal realities of struggling to stay alive, ultimately creating a startling account of all that is lost and must be regained even after the fighting is over and ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
‘My name is Hanna Slivka. I was born on February twenty-second, in the winter of 1928. I am still breathing. This is my story.’

The simplness of this story is what I found most endearing about this novel. It is told in a straight forward manner with no ‘fluff’, which I appreciated. Hanna’s story comes as her daughter asks about a book she finds with marks in it. What follows is a story of survival under extreme circumstances. The huge lose of human life is so incomprehensible. With every novel I
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
My thanks to NetGalley for a review copy of this book.

This is a story told by Hanna Slivka to her daughter, about a part of her life that she has so far kept hidden from her—when at fourteen, she was living with her family in Russian occupied Ukraine. Life had become hard, their possessions reduced because of the strict rules the communists went by, and religion, also taboo to the communists, was something that couldn’t be practised as openly as when they were ‘free’. But these hardships seem no
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Tara Masih’s short-story collection Where the Dog Star Never Glows, so I figured I was in good hands with her first novel, especially as the former’s stories range in time and to places that aren’t her own, as is the case here. One never knows how a writer’s talent and skill will translate to another genre, but no worries here: She delivers.

This is the story of a Jewish family living in a remote Ukrainian village, trying to survive the liquidation Aktion of the Einsatzgruppen. Based on
Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
About 3.7 stars rounded to 4.

Review to come.

Image result for holocaust quotes
It is heart-wrenching to see how one human being is capable of mistreating another human being. The wronged ones in order to survive need to keep their spirit alive. In this story, each person is allowed to keep one thing they value the most, and leave the rest behind. The spirit also comes through the story-telling, traditions, love for family and staying together.

Ukraine, 1941. Hanna lives with her family in a Jewish community in a small town of Kwasova. She doesn’t understand why some people
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Jewish Book Club: My Real Name is Hanna - 5 stars 2 21 Jun 10, 2019 11:52AM  
Play Book Tag: My Real Name Is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih - 5 stars 3 21 Aug 03, 2018 02:00PM  

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My Real Name Is Hanna, Tara's bestselling debut novel for young readers and adults set in WW II Ukraine, was a finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards and received the Julia Ward Howe Award for Young Readers, a Florida Book Award (YA, Gold), a Skipping Stones Honor Award, a Foreword Book of the Year Award (Historical, Gold), and it appeared on Shelf Unbound's 2019 Notable List, Goodreads' 2018 ...more

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