Prisoner B-3087, by Alan Gratz

I have been a busy bee these past few weeks, so I might not be able to post a ton of reviews in the upcoming weeks, but I will try to post as much as I can! I have all sorts of auditions, projects, and tests that are coming up, and wrapping up this school year is definitely a hectic time of year.

DISCLAIMER: I have received a free signed copy of this book from one of my former librarians. I have also received book swag from the author. These will not affect my review.

Rating: 9.5/10 stars

Prisoner B-3087 follows Yanek Gruener, a Jewish boy who was living in Poland at the time of the Nazi invasion, and his journey through 10 different concentration camps. Facing starvation, exhaustion, and grueling conditions, Yanek tries to survive his six years as a captured Jew in the Holocaust. As he keeps his hopes up about a possible escape or liberation by the Allied Forces, he faces life and death and wonders whether he can last until he can finally taste freedom or he will die like the millions of Jews the Nazis slaughtered.

I had finally got the chance to read the amazing book after hearing so many great reviews about it, and the author did not disappoint. This is one of those books that make you end with “Aww” or “Wow,” and I ended it being amazed. It was a spectacular book.

World War II is one of my favorite topics to read about, so this book did hit my sweet spot. What fascinates me even more is how some of the events actually did happen to Jack Gruener. Basing this book off of Gruener’s true story was a bulls-eye because it tugs at your heartstrings and keeps you at the edge of your seat. This book definitely reminds me of Elie Wiesel’s Night, but so much middle grade/young adult oriented.

This book is a thriller. It has so much suspense it keeps you on the edge of your seat. You forget at times this is even for middle schoolers because it is so chilling and haunting, yet never graphic, at times. It feels like I’ve actually walked in the protagonist’s shoes, feeling furious, sorrowful, and relieved at times. You actually become a part of the story.

I have only a few things about the book that I was a bit bugged about. Firstly, the pace seems so fast in some parts since each of the 10 concentration camps were briefly mentioned. I know this is for a middle school/grade audience, but I would have been even happier if it was a bit longer and slower. The other thing is that it was a bit slow at the beginning, even to the point where I was considering an 8, but you got to hang until after the exposition.

This is probably one of the best World War II books I have read. I was left wanting more yet satisfied at the end. My friends and teachers were right- this was an amazing book.

Recommendation: A big yes!

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