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My Survival: A Girl on Schindler's List

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  778 ratings  ·  134 reviews
The astonishing true story of a girl who survived the Holocaust thanks to Oskar Schindler, of Schindler's List fame.
Rena Finder was only eleven when the Nazis forced her and her family -- along with all the other Jewish families -- into the ghetto in Krakow, Poland. Rena worked as a slave laborer with scarcely any food and watched as friends and family were sent away.

Hardcover, 144 pages
Published December 26th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  778 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Katerina  Kondrenko
4 out of 10

The first chapters were SO powerful! I thought that's my 10-stars read! My bad. The rest of the story transformed into Wikipedia or History Book Paragraphs. Numbers, names, actions (sometimes placed pretty randomly). The story ceased to flow and started to fall apart.

I also didn't like the closing thoughts. Maybe I got it wrong, but the author through Rena blames countries who fought to free Jews for not doing more and no saving them somehow in the process and guesses that this m
Ms. Yingling
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Rena Finder was eleven when the Nazis came to her Polish town. After increasing restrictions and neighbors and relatives being arrested, her family was sent to the Krakow ghetto. When that was emptied, Rena and her mother ended up on a train to Auschwitz-Birkenau, after Rena's father altered her papers so she would seem old enough to stay with her mother. Luckily, the two ended up working in Oskar Schindler's factory, where he made sure his employees were well fed and ca
Alex  Baugh
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Like most Americans, I first learned about Oskar Schindler and the 1,200 Jewish lives he was able to save watching Steven Spielberg's movie Schindler's List. And yes, I am sorry to say I have not yet read Thomas Keneally's 1982 book Schindler's Ark (published as Schindler's List in the US). However, you may recall a book published in 2013 called The Boy On the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson, who was a young Jewish boy working for Schindler. Now, we have this book by Rena Finder, who was a still a you ...more
Liza Wiemer
A powerful and heart-wrenching novel about a girl's survival during the Holocaust and the life-saving, heroic measures the Schindler's took to save her life.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This books gives a first hand perspective to what it was like for Jewish people during the Holocaust as Rena tells a very personal and intimate account of what life was like for her and her family during the Nazi reign. Rena recalls a number of events throughout the books and how they impacted her; from being moved to the ghetto, the rising death toll, being helped by the Schindler's, being taking to Auschwitz-Birkenau and being helped again by the Schindler's prior to the concentration camps be ...more
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look at Schindler's List from the view of one of his chosen. I am so glad that Rena is telling her story. Her story is incomprehensible to our modern sensibilities, but she lived it. We can never forget the horrors of the Holocaust. More importantly, Rena's story is a reminder of those who resisted the Nazi regime saving lives and bringing an end to the war. This is an excellent book to have in a school library or classroom as a resource when studying WW II.

Thank you to Scholastic
Debbie Tanner
This is a story of Rena, who was born in Poland in 1929. Most of her Jewish family was exterminated during World War 2 and this book describes how she managed to survive. This would be a great one to connect to The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leo Leyson.
Keira Gildernew
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It gave complete details of what it was like for a 12 year old girl in the holocaust. I loved it. It was a little upsetting at some points. I still give it a 5 star review!
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book for young adults. I had the privilege to hear Rena speak on a few occasions and she is a remarkable woman.
Lydia Darais
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: perfect-for-me
I loved this book. It got a little sad at times but who likes a perfectly boring book?
Sarah Zahrt
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Probably would give this a 3.5. I liked that it was a memoir, but have read so many Holocaust books and this one just didn't "jump out" at me. Overall it was good and think my students would like it.
Liz DeLise
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Must read for middle schoolers
Carrie Yanke
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book with my 5th grader. It was a wonderful story of courage and I’m glad we read it together so she could ask questions.
Donald Kirch
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Profoundly poetic and thought provoking !
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
This book gives a glimpse of what it was like to survive the horrors of the Holocaust. It is also a great reminder that this was real and something we should never forget.
Highly recommended for teens.
Melanie Dulaney
Rena Ferber Finder was 11 when Hitler and his army invaded Poland and imprisoned, enslaved and murdered millions. Her birthplace of Krakow became a prison and only a few members of her family survived the war. Rena and her mother both were saved due to the heroic actions of Oskar and Emilie Schindler and in this book, she relays her experiences in the hope that readers will always remember what horrors can be allowed to happen when one person thinks that another is less valuable. “My Survival” o ...more
Amy Hicks
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Born in Krakow, Poland, in the 1920s, Rena Finder recounts the time in her young life when her family was targeted by the Nazi regime, moved from their home into the Krakow Ghetto. Eventually, her father is taken away...and she and her mother are taken to Plaszow Concentration Camp. Here, she learns of a man named Oskar Shindler. By a twist of fate, she finds herself on Shindler's List-working of Oskar Shindler himself. When Plaszow closes and all residents are shipped to Auschwitz, Shindler dis ...more
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A terrifying account. As an adult, I learned a few new facts about this moment in history. I enjoyed that it took a more factual approach to the events instead of turning it into a story; I feel this adds to the impact of the piece. It is very much a person recounting their experiences. I will certainly use it in my classroom.
Julie (Bookish.Intoxication)
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
One person with courage to stand up for the innocent can make a big difference. P3

A Girl on Schindler's List, is written plainly which not only makes it incredibly easy to read, but it makes it easy to understand the depth of what is happening. In some instances, it makes the horrors of what Rena suffered, so much clearer. But it also gives the reader time to process and to see what it was like for so many people.

The pacing is perfect, it doesn't rush or lag. It allows the reader to proceed at
Lonna Pierce
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
A first hand account of a 14 year-old from Krakow, Poland through her horrific experiences in the Jewish Ghetto, Auschwitz Concentration Camp, and salvation at the hands of Oskar and Emilie Schindler; Rena and her mother survived because of the heroism of that couple. Working in Schindler's enamelware & munitions factories, Jews on his list were well-fed, sheltered and employed due to Schindler's bribes to Nazi commandants and soldiers, which cost him his considerable fortune. Simple enough for ...more
Simply written and compelling first hand account of Holocaust survivor, Rena Finder.

Ms Finder takes us back to the time before the war and her life as a beloved child in Krakow, Poland. As worrying news began to filter through from Nazi Germany, we see how a child took in the tension that was mounting among the adults in her life. She takes us through the move to the Jewish ghetto and then to Auschwitz. We also learn of how one man, Oskar Schindler, and his wife, Emilie, sacrificed their fortun
Donna Dobihal Smith
A gut-wrenching, heartbreaking memoir of what it was like to grow up in Poland during the Nazi takeover, this gripping story makes this dark time in our history approachable to today's young readers. In response to those who were upset that Finder said allies only wanted to win the war, what the author actually wrote was, that despite proof of atrocities aimed at Jews, "government leaders chose to do nothing," (meaning, for the Jews in camps) and that these leaders believed they needed to put th ...more
“Words have not been invented to describe Auschwitz.” Nor the atrocities that men can inflict upon other men. The holocaust will forever be a stain on the fabric of humanity. I’m still having trouble putting into words how this story made me feel. Ashamed. But why? I didn’t do it. But would I have tried to stop it if I had been there at the time? That’s the question for all of us. Do I see injustices around me and try to do something about them?
This story is meant for middle readers. I’d say 4t
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
The girl on schindlers list is a short memoir from Rena Finder, who writes about her time during the Holocaust, and the man who helped save thousands of Jewish people.

One of the things I love the read about is the Holocaust or Auschwitz in general. And while the basis of most books written are the same, the stories of those who survived and those who did not are so vastly different.

The girl on Schindler’s list doesn’t go into full detail about the horrors of the Holocaust, due to the fact that i
Jedi Master Nate Lightray
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I know this is a kid's book, but I read this entire thing while sitting in a waiting room at a hospital. I picked it up because I wanted my kids to read it, and I can never get enough books about Oskar Schindler and what he did for people. While this one doesn't cover anything I haven't read before, it is great for any of my children still in elementary school.

I always admire survivors of the Holocaust, and feel a horror at what they went through. But it is so important to study history. While
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rena's story provides a gentle, yet truthful, first-hand account of her life as an eleven-year-old girl in Krakow, Poland. She is forced into the Krakow Ghetto and then she and her mother are transported to Auschwitz. Rena describes her feelings and surroundings throughout the book.

Rena Finder and her mother survive Hitler's 'final solution' because they were fortunate to become workers at Schindler's factory. Her gratitude toward Schindler and his wife is strong throughout the book. She describ
Choose to read this today for Holocaust Remberance Day. Think I'd be comfortable with this for 4th and fifth graders who may not be ready to tackle the Diary of Anne Frank. Can certainly see it's use in a Religious school pre-Bnai Mitvah class.

Had to move it up to a 4* because of the importance of chapter 14 of closing thoughts and the JFK quote "If we cannot end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is tha
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What you have to remember here is that this story is told through the memories of someone who survived the most horrific massacre in the world. She is 90 years old and some details of what she went through she will not tell. This book brought up so many emotions especially in the world we live in today of unrest. Here experience of living in the Krakow Ghetto and then being shipped off to Auschwitz were horrid. There are many parts that had me in tears and in disbelief. Even though I've studied ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Even though this was written for children, I really appreciated the raw account of what Rena went through. I think this message is always important and always relevant, for children and parents alike.

Would I recommend this to children? Yes, but determine your child's ability to deal with the information, because there is a lot to take. Personally I have broached the subject of the holocaust with my children, but my eldest at 7 is not emotionally capable of dealing with the idea of adults killin
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