Angela's Reviews > Somewhere There Is Still a Sun: A Memoir of the Holocaust

Somewhere There Is Still a Sun by Michael Gruenbaum
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really liked it
bookshelves: signed, young-adult

This isn't your standard Holocaust book. It doesn't tell horror stories of Nazis, or shocking portrayals of labor camps. That all happens behind the scenes, but this is a story of Misha, a Jewish boy who had only a vague idea of why his life was changing.

They were a fairly well-to-do family, until Misha's father is taken away by the SS. Soon after, Misha and his mother are transferred to Terezin, a concentration camp.

You're Misha Gruenbaum and you live on Kozi Street in the Jewish ghetto, because you're a Jew, like the star says.

Life in Terezin is almost carefree for a boy of Misha's age. He lives in a room with 40 other boys; they play soccer together; he finds himself some steady work. They have Program (not school, since that's forbidden) and put on plays for the rest of the camp. You almost forget it's the ghetto, just like Misha and his friends. That is, until the trains start coming in, and people are being transported to the East in droves—to Auschwitz.

The story is told in much the same way the events happened. It's gradual, a sort of disbelief, until there's no way to ignore it. Even for a ten-year-old kid. Misha watches his freedoms being slowly taken away in Prague; he then watches his friends disappear on trains meant for livestock. He always thinks things can't get any worse than they are.

It's heartbreaking, not just because of the setting, but because these children had to live through it. They didn't understand everything going on... until they had to.

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Reading Progress

April 20, 2017 – Shelved
April 20, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
April 20, 2017 – Shelved as: signed
November 16, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
January 30, 2020 – Started Reading
February 5, 2020 – Finished Reading

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