Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse

The Cats in Krasinski Square (edition 2004)

by Karen Hesse, Wendy Watson (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4032426,478 (4.3)16
Title:The Cats in Krasinski Square
Authors:Karen Hesse
Other authors:Wendy Watson (Illustrator)
Info:Scholastic Press (2004), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:research, WWII, multicultural, war, cats, yesterday, social issues and culture, heroes

Work details

The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Summary: The young child is caught in World War II and is a Jewish child in Warsaw and has made friends with all the cats around who have lost their homes. Even though he has nothing to offer but tender love and affection the cats still love her. The child's older sister who is all the family she has left is having a friend smuggle in food to them on the train but the Gestapo finds out about the smuggling and send dogs to the train station to sniff out the smugglers. They gather all the cats in baskets and meet the friends at the train station. When the dogs are set loose they let the cats loose to distract the dogs so they can get the food.

Personal Reaction: This story shows how it really was for Jews during WWII and how hard it was for them to get what they needed. Things like what happened in this story really could have happened back then.

Classroom Extension Ideas: 1. Read a few articles about WWII to my class so they have a better understanding about the time and situation.
2. Have them draw the crazy scene from the story.
  LynleeRae | Oct 22, 2014 |
I loved this book! The first reason I loved this book was for the fact that it was written in non-rhyming prose. For example, the book began with “The cats…come…from the cracks in the wall,…the dark corners,…the openings in the rubble” each line containing a different emotion and thought adding to one another. I loved this aspect of the book because it gave the text an eloquent cadence that paired well with the light-hearted seriousness that came with the story that told of how this large group of Polish people outsmarted the Gestapo by using dozens of stray cats that roamed the streets of the city and ghetto during World War II. Reading this story with the rhythm created from the prose made the story rapidly intense at times, and decrepitly somber at others, making the book thrilling to read. I also loved this book for its creative character development. Even though the story spends little to no time drawing a picture of what the characters feel, understand and think, the way in which the author describes physical features and situations tells a lot about the characters in a short amount of time. For example, on the page that told of Arik telling the main character’s sister, Mira, that the Gestapo was onto their plan said “the look that passe[d] between Arik and Mira…frightens me more…than the knock on the door in the night” which showed me that Mira was in on the plan and afraid of what was going to happen now that the Gestapo knew of their plan. I thought that this was a subtly creative way of dealing aspects about Mira’s character without spending time explicitly explaining that she was involved with the life-threatening plan to secure food for the ghetto. Overall, the big idea of the book was to enlighten the reader on the dangerous times of World War II and to show what the people of that time had to do to obtain basic needs such as food and water. ( )
  mspisa1 | Apr 3, 2014 |
A wonderful book showing how a small group of Jews outsmarted the Nazis outside of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Karen Hesse has written and Wendy Watson has illustrated a wonderful book based on a true story. Ms. Hesse mentioned in the Author's Note that in 2001 she came across a short article about cats outfoxing the Gestapo at the train station in Warsaw during World War II. In this particular book, The Cats in Karsinski Square, Resistance fighters were bringing food into the Ghetto and the Germans found out about it. There with their dogs, the Gestapo was ready to make arrests. However, other Resistance let cats loose in the station, diverting the attention of the dogs. So simple, yet so effective.

The Cats in Krasinski Square is a straightforward story well worth the short time it will take to read. It is up to the standards we expect from Karen Hesse. ( )
  EdGoldberg | Aug 30, 2013 |
Two Jewish sisters, escapees of the infamous Warsaw ghetto, devise a plan to thwart an attempt by the Gestapo to intercept food bound for starving people behind the dark Wall.

Parents' Choice Gold Award 2004
ALA Notable Children's Books 2005
Booklist starred 10/15/04
Christian Library Journal starred 03/01/05
Horn Book starred 04/01/05
Kirkus Reviews starred 08/01/04

This book would be a great supplemental text to use in a WWII unit.
  Winnster | Jul 29, 2013 |
Out of the Dust is one of my favorite Newbery Medal books. Thus, I'm not surprised at the emotional impact this book rendered.

Based on true stories of strong, brave individuals who lived on the outside of the Warsaw Ghetto and, at the risk of life, attempted to save and provide food for those walled behind the barriers.

This is a story of a young child who plays with the cats and kittens of Krasinski Square. They have no food, no home and no one to kiss them.

This is a story of the young child's sister Mira who is brave and part of the resistance movement. When the Nazi soldiers learn of a a shipment of food destined to arrive and to be hidden in the cracks and crannies of the wall in order for the prisoners to gain nourishment, it is the cats hidden in baskets who rescue those on the train in danger.

Jumping out of the baskets, creating a flurry of mayhem for the nasty guard dogs and soliders, the food and helpers are saved.

Without too much heavy handedness, and without too much softness, Hesse creates a very valid and real depiction of the difficulties faced by all who were not deemed worthy to live.

Highly recommended. ( )
  Whisper1 | Jun 23, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
In memory of my mother, Fran Levin - K.H.
For my father, Aldren Auld Watson - my teacher, mentor, colleague, and collaborator - W.W.
LJCRS Book Fair Selection 5765
First words
The cats come from the cracks in the Wall, the dark corners, the openings in the rubble.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Those who smuggle goods to Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto find out about a Gestapo plan to intercept the food and use cats (in great numbers) to foil the police by distracting their dogs. A powerful book with a simple, yet harrowing true storyline. Subject matter is likely too much for the youngest readers, unless they have a reason to be investigating the Holocaust. Intermediate and up.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439435404, Hardcover)

Newbery medalist Karen Hesse tells a harrowing, true story about life in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII.

When Karen Hesse came upon a short article about cats out-foxing the Gestapo at the train station in Warsaw during WWII, she couldn't get the story out of her mind. The result is this stirring account of a Jewish girl's involvement in the Resistance. At once terrifying and soulful, this fictional account, borne of meticulous research, is a testament to history and to our passionate will to survive, as only Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse can write it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Two Jewish sisters, escapees of the infamous Warsaw ghetto, devise a plan to thwart an attempt by the Gestapo to intercept food bound for starving people behind the dark Wall.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
14 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (4.3)
2 1
3 13
3.5 3
4 29
4.5 8
5 41

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 97,973,370 books! | Top bar: Always visible