for Prisoner B-3087
by Alan Gratz
A novel based on the actual experiences of a Holocaust survivor follows Yanek Gruener from 1939 through his release from Dachau in 1945. During the intervening years, Yanek and his family see their neighborhood in Kraków, Poland become a ghetto after the Nazi occupation and eventually lose their home. For a time they live in a pigeon coop on an apartment building rooftop, but when his parents are grabbed from the street while out buying bread, thirteen-year-old Yanek is left alone. Yanek is sent to Plaszów, a nearby labor camp, and from there he's moved to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, then Trzebinia, Birkenau, Auschwitz, and other camps, ending up at Dachau in 1945 when it is liberated by U.S. troops. Yanek's story is one of horror upon horror, but his determination to survive helps him make it through incarceration in ten concentration camps. In an afterword, Alan Gratz states that he has altered Jack Gruener's experiences with his permission to "paint a fuller and more representative picture of the Holocaust as a whole." (Age 14 and older)
CCBC Choices 2014. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014. Used with permission.
Survive. At any cost.
10 concentration camps. 10 different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly. It's something no one could imagine surviving. But it is what Yanek Gruener has to face. As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the mercy of the Nazis who have taken over. Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have been snatched brutally from him. And then Yanek himself is taken prisoner -- his arm tattooed with the words PRISONER B-3087. He is forced from one nightmarish concentration camp to another, as World War II rages all around him. He encounters evil he could have never imagined, but also sees surprising glimpses of hope amid the horror. He just barely escapes death, only to confront it again seconds later. Can Yanek make it through the terror without losing his hope, his will -- and, most of all, his sense of who he really is inside? Based on an astonishing true story.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.