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The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
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The Devil's Arithmetic (1988)

by Jane Yolen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Elementary
  SteppLibrary | May 21, 2019 |
I read this book as a 12 year old and I remember loving it, but could not remember why. After reading it for the second time, I still love it. I’m not sure if it’s Yolen’s writing, making me feel what the characters are feeling, or if it’s the actual story line. Either way, I’m glad I read it again. It reminded me why I loved reading so much as a kid, and continue to do so now. I think this is a great read for younger kids, to remind them why remembering our world's past history is important. ( )
  Audriana0202 | Jun 20, 2018 |
This book is a bit like the Chronicles of Narnia, but with a dark twist. A modern, American Jewish girl opens a door and is magically transported back in time into the body of another Jewish girl, just before that girl and her entire village is transported to a Nazi concentration camp. All of a sudden the Holocaust, instead of tiresome stories drummed into her by her older relatives at holiday gatherings, becomes very horrifically real. Having read quite a few nonfiction accounts of the concentration camps and other horrors of the Nazi regime, I found this book very readable, a story that makes the camps and the people in them real, without the story feeling preachy or flat. Yolen does a great job of balancing the horror and hopelessness of the situation Holocaust victims found themselves in, while still maintaining a glimmer of hope throughout, since the story is told from the perspective of a descendant of a survivor who somehow not only was not destroyed by the camps and the Nazis, but who went on to have a family and a good life afterwards. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
From School Library Journal

In this novel, Yolen attempts to answer those who question why the Holocaust should be remembered. Hannah, 12, is tired of remembering, and is embarrassed by her grandfather, who rants and raves at the mention of the Nazis. Her mother's explanations of how her grandparents and great-aunt lost all family and friends during that time have little effect. Then, during a Passover Seder, Hannah is chosen to open the door to welcome the prophet Elijah. As she does so, she is transported to a village in Poland in the 1940s, where everyone thinks that she is Chaya, who has just recovered from a serious illness. She is captured by the Nazis and taken to a death camp, where she is befriended by a young girl named Rivka, who teaches her how to fight the dehumanizing processes of the camp and hold onto her identity. When at last their luck runs out and Rivka is chosen, Hannah/Chaya, in an almost impulsive act of self-sacrifice, goes in her stead. As the door to the gas chamber closes behind her, she is returned to the door of her grandparents' apartment, waiting for Elijah. Through Hannah, with her memories of the present and the past, Yolen does a fine job of illustrating the importance of remembering. She adds much to children's understanding of the effects of the Holocaust, which will reverberate throughout history, today and tomorrow. Susan M. Harding, Mesquite Public Library, Tex.
  MBacon | Nov 19, 2017 |
A young girl is frustrated with her relatives, who stress the importance of remembering the past, especially during the family's Seder. But she learns the devastating importance of remembrance, when she opens the ritual door for Elijah, but instead somehow walks into the past, and then into a concentration camp.
A powerful and well-written story, and most assuredly an important one. ( )
  electrascaife | Aug 15, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Yolenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cieslawski, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenblat, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my Yolen grandparents, who brought their family over in the early 1900's, second class, not steerage, and to my Berlin grandparents, who came over close to that same time and settled in Virginia. We were the lucky ones. This book is a memorial for those who were not.

And for my daughter, Heidi Elisabet Stemple, whose Hebrew name is Chaya -- pronounced with a gutteral ch as Hi'-ya -- which means life.

And with special thanks to Barbara Goldin and Deborah Brodie, who were able to ask questions of survivors that I was unable to ask and pass those devastating answers on to me.
c. 1 In honor of Temple Israel by LJCRS 1990
First words
"I'm tired of remembering," Hannah said to her mother as she climbed into the car.
Quotations
She has come to love her next bowl of soup more.
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Book description
This follows the story of a young girl who experiences in her head what her aunt and her aunt experienced during the Holocaust. She gets to see the horrors of what happened to appreciate what her family always celebrates.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142401099, Paperback)

Hannah thinks tonight's Passover Seder will be the same as always.  Little does she know that this year she will be mysteriously transported into the past where only she knows the horrors that await.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:31 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Hannah resents the traditions of her Jewish heritage until time travel places her in the middle of a small Jewish village in Nazi-occupied Poland.

» see all 4 descriptions

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