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Prisoner B-3087

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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. 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.


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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. 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.

30 review for Prisoner B-3087

  1. 5 out of 5

    jv poore

    Prisoner B-3087 is a novel, based on the true story of Jack Gruener’s formative years in concentration camps. Anyone vaguely familiar with the Holocaust will find it remarkably difficult to determine where Mr. Gratz took liberties. At a blush, this may seem like a heavy topic for the intended audience of younger students (Middle and Jr. High); however, in its simplicity, I believe that the story is perfectly presented. The horror unfolds through the eyes of Yanek (later to known as Jack Gruener). Prisoner B-3087 is a novel, based on the true story of Jack Gruener’s formative years in concentration camps. Anyone vaguely familiar with the Holocaust will find it remarkably difficult to determine where Mr. Gratz took liberties. At a blush, this may seem like a heavy topic for the intended audience of younger students (Middle and Jr. High); however, in its simplicity, I believe that the story is perfectly presented. The horror unfolds through the eyes of Yanek (later to known as Jack Gruener). He is only 10 years old when Hitler’s armies began to invade Europe. As he listens to the adults “talk politics”, he can’t possibly conceive of how his world will change over the next 6 years. Because Yanek is such a kind-hearted and optimistic boy, his matter-of-fact delivery allows the reader to experience his own emotions. The simple and basic presentation of the deplorable treatment of Jews is no less than heart-wrenching—for the reader. It is impossible to ignore the young boy’s strength and resolution as he first deals with years of being held prisoner in his own town, to finding the perfect hiding place for his family as mass exodus occurred---who but a young boy would see an abandoned pigeon coop as a home? As he loses family and friends while being shuffled from camp to camp, he relies on inner strength to survive. I hope that this book becomes wildly popular. Based on my (very limited) time in the school systems, I believe our kids need a true hero. It seems that so many of us have become wrapped up in our own little cocoons that we allow inconveniences to become tragedies. I certainly relished the jolt back to reality---where people truly know suffering and pain. The fresh perspective was welcome. I will definitely be donating copies of this book to school and public libraries, with the hope that someone else will open his eyes as well.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}

    Actual Rating: 1.75 The story of Yanek Gruener is not an outstandingly unique one. His story, or at least something akin to his, has been told numerous times in the past, under different names of course. Nevertheless, I seem to be attracted to reading these sorts of stories even though I know how everyone of them ends. I picked this one up mostly because of the title and the cover. It's sort of beautiful in a very plain and morbid way. It looks similar to a graphic novel's cover I read a while ag Actual Rating: 1.75 The story of Yanek Gruener is not an outstandingly unique one. His story, or at least something akin to his, has been told numerous times in the past, under different names of course. Nevertheless, I seem to be attracted to reading these sorts of stories even though I know how everyone of them ends. I picked this one up mostly because of the title and the cover. It's sort of beautiful in a very plain and morbid way. It looks similar to a graphic novel's cover I read a while ago - which I would name except it's sort of embarrassing. It's a beautiful cover, with a beautifully haunting story and artwork. It was depressing and wonderful. This was neither. PRISONER B-3087 was a very bland story with very poor writing. I do think that if the writing was better this could be a great book. The writing was so... detached and emotionless. I felt absolutely nothing while reading, unless you can count extreme crippingly boredom as a feeling. It was just nothing. I've never felt less while reading a book especially a book about something depressing like these Nazi concentration camps. I mean, even though characters were dying and everyone was starving: It was so pathetically boring. I didn't feel anything towards any of the characters. They were just names for me, not really characters and in the same way, the book was just words without any meaning. I spent the entire book trying to connect with the main character but I was just so detached. Characters The main character Yanek was the only character that stayed with us for more than a few meager pages. He doesn't really have a personality other than that guy who’s in a concentration camp. He also thinks like a twelve year old even though he's 14+ for the majority of the book. It keeps saying the years pass even though there is little sign of that except for everyone is hungrier. Yanek is also a bit stupid and has little survival skills, which is peculiar since he survived six years in a concentration camp. So he has the perfect opportunity to get some food. A piece of bread is right in front of him. And what does he do? HE DOESN'T PICK IT UP BECAUSE SOMEONE COULD USE IT. You idiot. He even said that he needed the bread to survive yet he doesn't pick it up. WHAT. TL;DR version: Yanek doesn't mature - at all. All he does is get hungrier and stupider. Plot and Writing Plot The plot is basically Yanek moving around. He goes through 10 camps (even though a few of them were just holding cells) and survives. I find this sort of impossible even though it says that it's an true story. How could a kid survive through 10 camps with this little trouble? He barely ever goes through any problems. Writing The writing was just messed up. It doesn't only have some of the most detached writing I've ever encountered, but terrible pacing as well. It’s just blergh. I don't want to go and rant because I'm trying to be nice but basically: It was bad. Very bad. Likes and Dislikes Like: - I guess it's got an... interestingish plot Dislike: - Writing - Yanek In conclusion PRISONER B-3087 was a pretty bad book. I don't recommend it to anyone. If you want a good MG book about this subject, read The Boy Who Dared which is a great book on the subject. I read it a few years ago but I'm pretty sure I'd still like it as much as I did back when I read it. Find this review and more at my blog:

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mrs.Morgan

    I am not certain what I expected from this book .. maybe a little more fiction: some, off the wall connections and actions that were obviously not something that truly happened. I think I walked into it with that bias, as it continuously comments on it being BASED on the true story of Jack (or Yanek) Gruener. Since it wasn't his complete true story, and it was only based on it, I figured the rest of it would have been bolstered with untruths. That was what it wasn't, however. At the end of the te I am not certain what I expected from this book .. maybe a little more fiction: some, off the wall connections and actions that were obviously not something that truly happened. I think I walked into it with that bias, as it continuously comments on it being BASED on the true story of Jack (or Yanek) Gruener. Since it wasn't his complete true story, and it was only based on it, I figured the rest of it would have been bolstered with untruths. That was what it wasn't, however. At the end of the text, it marches through all of the book's events that Jack truly endured. I'll summarize it for you: basically the whole book. SO, that meant that the text read as all the other Holocaust texts read -- as a long-winded retelling of someone's life. Memoir-like. Which left me thinking I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. It was the same story on the same topic that all memoirs of the holocaust were. Not at ALL to downplay what happened (this is a "favorite" topic of mine and I take the atrocities of this time to heart, as I devour all the books regarding it that I can get my hands on). But, as I sat there contemplating how it went after I finished it, I realized that even though the story was almost the same as the last 18 holocaust texts that I had read, that I still loved Jack's story. I still wanted to keep reading, even after I had put it down. I still felt raw and vulnerable emotions for his childhood being ripped away. I still identified with him and with his story, because why?? Because I am human. So I really liked this book. Yeah, the story was the same, but it was balanced well with just enough raw, heart wrenching info. I can appreciate that.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tara Anderson Gold

    Yanek Gruener is ten years old, Jewish, and living in Poland in the late 1930's. One day, the Nazis take over his town and Yanek's journey through the Jewish ghetto and ten different concentration camps begins. Yanek watches as everything, and everyone, he loves is taken away from him. There's no escape -- only survival. Every time Yanek barely escapes death, every time he watches the Nazi's brutally murder those around them, he pledges to fight by living to carry on the memory of those who were Yanek Gruener is ten years old, Jewish, and living in Poland in the late 1930's. One day, the Nazis take over his town and Yanek's journey through the Jewish ghetto and ten different concentration camps begins. Yanek watches as everything, and everyone, he loves is taken away from him. There's no escape -- only survival. Every time Yanek barely escapes death, every time he watches the Nazi's brutally murder those around them, he pledges to fight by living to carry on the memory of those who were lost. Prisoner B-3087 is the amazing, gripping tale of Yanek's survival in ten different Nazi concentration camps, and it is based on a true story. The afterward explains the story of the real Yanek Gruener and his real experiences that are included in the novel. That is, perhaps, what make this novel so fascinating and gut-wrencing to read. Comparisons to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas are natural, but Gratz's story takes us into the Holocaust in a way I haven't experience in any other middle grades/YA novel. Teachers should especially take note here. Because Prisoner B-3087 covers life before, during, and after the Holocaust, as well as experiences in ten different camps (including the salt mines and death marches), it is an excellent classroom read for a unit on World War II. Students could map Yanek's journey, research the different camps, investigate the how the war affected Yanek's movements between camps. Students can map Yanek's journey to Plaszow, Wieliezka Salt Mine, Trzebinia, Birkenau, Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Gross-Rosen, and Dachau throughout the story. Most importantly, students can gain an empathetic glimpse into the day-to-day horrors of life as a concentration camp prisoner and the struggle to survive in horrible conditions. FINAL GRADE: A You need to read this book. Put it in your middle school, high school, and public libraries. Add it to your curriculum. Read it. Cry. Pull your blanket close and be thankful for your warmth, house, food, water, and freedom. Thank you, Alan Gratz, for writing this novel. Thank you to Yanek Gruener, especially, for sharing his story. ARC from NetGalley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jonas

    this was a thrilling page turner that I think a lot of people would l was on the edge the whole book I highly reccomend the book for peoplewho are in to ww2 and like to have anxiety the whole time they are reading. anyways thank you alan gratz for the great book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ⋆ yel ⋆

    3.5 of 5 stars ----- It was really difficult to imagine that the events happened at this book was experienced by a lot of people at that time. It was terrible and truly terrifying. And knowing that real Yanek had suffered and survived that horrible nightmare, it was really something no one can really comprehend. As Yanek himself said, even in the most explicit description of the story one can tell, no one can really understand what they've been through. Although this had the same things to of 3.5 of 5 stars ----- It was really difficult to imagine that the events happened at this book was experienced by a lot of people at that time. It was terrible and truly terrifying. And knowing that real Yanek had suffered and survived that horrible nightmare, it was really something no one can really comprehend. As Yanek himself said, even in the most explicit description of the story one can tell, no one can really understand what they've been through. Although this had the same things to offer as a lot of holocaust story out there, surviving ten concentration camps was too much for a single person to endure for even ten lifetimes. Listening to the audiobook, it was incredible. The way the narrator croaked while saying his dialogues, as if stopping himself from crying, you can really hear the helplessness in his voice. I'm not sure if I would liked it as much if I read it physically. As I said, it was like some other holocaust stories but it was still worth the read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jacob_Tyler

    Prisoner B-3087 was one of my favorite books that i've read this year. The book is about a boy who survived through the Holocaust. I would recommend this book to people who like history. I really liked the book, and I think anyone who picks it up will end up enjoying it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Skip

    Yanek Gruener, Prisoner B-3087, is a fictionalized version of the true story of Jack Gruener. Yanek and his family are Jews living in Krakow, Poland, when it is invaded by the Nazi's. It follows the construction of the ghetto there, the consolidation of the Jews, and then their mass deportations to factories, work or death camps. Eventually, teenage Yanek ends up alone, with sage advice from his uncle to trust and care about no one. During the war, Yanek is transferred to ten different concentra Yanek Gruener, Prisoner B-3087, is a fictionalized version of the true story of Jack Gruener. Yanek and his family are Jews living in Krakow, Poland, when it is invaded by the Nazi's. It follows the construction of the ghetto there, the consolidation of the Jews, and then their mass deportations to factories, work or death camps. Eventually, teenage Yanek ends up alone, with sage advice from his uncle to trust and care about no one. During the war, Yanek is transferred to ten different concentration camps, which is incredibly hard to believe because Yanek is so naive, has few survival skills, and was hardly large enough to be a worthy selection for a work crew. At the end of the day. the book felt like a survey course on concentration camps. 2.5 stars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Harry Brake

    You know of Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank, and Oskar Schindler, or do you? After attending a crucial seminar in the study of the Holocaust in Delaware, attending the Holocaust Museum, studying the Holocaust at the University of Delaware for a summer, and continuing to return to the very heart of why knowing about the Holocaust is so important, this text does not add any more depression to the theme of the Holocaust, it simply adds to the motivation to educate more and more generations about why this i You know of Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank, and Oskar Schindler, or do you? After attending a crucial seminar in the study of the Holocaust in Delaware, attending the Holocaust Museum, studying the Holocaust at the University of Delaware for a summer, and continuing to return to the very heart of why knowing about the Holocaust is so important, this text does not add any more depression to the theme of the Holocaust, it simply adds to the motivation to educate more and more generations about why this is crucial to be taught to future generations. Gratz's depiction of Jack Gruener's survival though so many consecutive camps is amazing, and yet this convinces readers to not lay this book down at all - and leads to further discussions on what type of education truly meets the core of students and their education on the world around us. This is a must read alongside some of the most historical fiction and biographical accounts of some very horrifying, yet important aspects of history.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Ramirez

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This Book Amazed me it was epic Yanek had survived throughout his lifetime by leaving and going in the concentration camps. The story starts when he's about 10 at the end he escapes being 18 for that 8 years in danger or his family's life. While in the camps Yanek losing most of his family but later on he meets a few of his cousins after he escapes, If Yanek didn't have the stamina or strength he couldn't of have survived the whole camp. But for me in my opinion it's still and amazing book and I This Book Amazed me it was epic Yanek had survived throughout his lifetime by leaving and going in the concentration camps. The story starts when he's about 10 at the end he escapes being 18 for that 8 years in danger or his family's life. While in the camps Yanek losing most of his family but later on he meets a few of his cousins after he escapes, If Yanek didn't have the stamina or strength he couldn't of have survived the whole camp. But for me in my opinion it's still and amazing book and I hope he makes more books like this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jonathon P.

    I flew this book because it always had me in suspense. The story was uneasing and it blows my mind what the Nazis did to the Jews. This story was about a little boy named Yanek. Yanek is a Jew and when he and his family get put into concentration camps, they get separated. Once in his first camp tho, he finds his uncle. His uncle told him that everyone else in the family had been killed by the Nazis. It was a very sad book and it was horrifying what these people did. From putting the Jews in gas I flew this book because it always had me in suspense. The story was uneasing and it blows my mind what the Nazis did to the Jews. This story was about a little boy named Yanek. Yanek is a Jew and when he and his family get put into concentration camps, they get separated. Once in his first camp tho, he finds his uncle. His uncle told him that everyone else in the family had been killed by the Nazis. It was a very sad book and it was horrifying what these people did. From putting the Jews in gas chambers to torturing them, the Nazis where brutal. I really enjoyed this book and it opened my eyes to how terrible they treated these human beings.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Margo Tanenbaum

    Recommended for ages 12 and up. This new Holocaust novel by author Alan Gratz is based on the true story of Yanek Gruener, a Jewish boy living in Krakow whose comfortable, middle-class life is turned upside down when the Nazis take over his country in 1939. The title, of course, refers to the number tattooed by the Nazis on his arm at one of the ten concentration camps he managed to survive. In fact, survival at all cost is the theme of this gripping and moving novel, told in the first person by Recommended for ages 12 and up. This new Holocaust novel by author Alan Gratz is based on the true story of Yanek Gruener, a Jewish boy living in Krakow whose comfortable, middle-class life is turned upside down when the Nazis take over his country in 1939. The title, of course, refers to the number tattooed by the Nazis on his arm at one of the ten concentration camps he managed to survive. In fact, survival at all cost is the theme of this gripping and moving novel, told in the first person by Yanek. From the opening line: "If only I had known what the next six lives of my life were going to be like, I would have eaten more," this is a story difficult to ignore. When Hitler invades Poland, Yanek, like the rest of the Polish Jews, has no idea what is to come, despite having heard Hitler on the radio and his rhetoric about making Germany and the rest of Europe "Jew-free." He sees his neighborhood being walled off by the Nazis, with all the Jews who lived elsewhere in Krakow moving in. As things go from bad to worse in the ghetto, Yanek and his parents move into the pigeon coop on the roof, hoping that the location might help them avoid the "selections," when the Nazis took thousands of ghetto dwellers away at a time to distant camps--usually to their deaths. Wild rumors circulated about the camps--rumors that no one could believe. One day his parents, too, are grabbed in a deportation, and at 13 Yanek is on his own. During the course of the novel, Yanek, too, is deported, and is sent to a series of ten concentration camps. First sent to Płaszów, a camp run by the infamous SS Officer Amon Goeth (portrayed in the film Schindler's List), he learns to be no one, and care for no one--the secret to survival in the camps. But can he survive with his human dignity intact? Written in short chapters and sparse prose, the novel is filled with narrow escapes from death. Yanek manages to survive work details in salt mines and rock quarries, only to wind up at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he survives the infamous showers and the deadly Death March from the camp at the end of the war. Like with other Holocaust stories, the reader is overwhelmed by the ability of the human spirit to survive under indescribably inhumane conditions, and likewise by the power that an individual's will to live can have. An afterword tells more about Yanek Gruener, who took the name of Jack in America, and the author explains some of the liberties he took with time and events "to paint a fuller and more representative picture of the Holocaust as a whole." The author explains that these changes were made with Jack's permission to help ensure that "the horrors and realities of the Holocaust beyond those that he personally experienced would not be forgotten."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    This is a review of the book Prisoner B-3087. The book takes place in Poland and Germany during WWII. Yanek, the main character in the story, and his family are Jewish and have to live in the ghetto that the Nazis have turned their home town into. Life is very hard for them, they have very little food, and they are forced to live with 4 other families in their small apartment. Eventually Yanek is captured and taken to a concentration camp. Yanek stays in the camp for a little while and then is tr This is a review of the book Prisoner B-3087. The book takes place in Poland and Germany during WWII. Yanek, the main character in the story, and his family are Jewish and have to live in the ghetto that the Nazis have turned their home town into. Life is very hard for them, they have very little food, and they are forced to live with 4 other families in their small apartment. Eventually Yanek is captured and taken to a concentration camp. Yanek stays in the camp for a little while and then is transferred to another one, and then he gets transferred again. This process of him moving from camp to camp keeps repeating, and by the time the story is done, Yanek has been to ten concentration camps. Somehow, Yanek survives all of it and lives to tell us about it. The story is fiction, although it is based off real occurrences that happened to Yanek. I think that this book is excellent, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steve H.

    When I was younger I started reading this, and unbeknownst to me I ended up never finishing it. Until recently when my interest piqued into the works of WWII and I decided I would re-read/finish the book, and I am happy that I did.I would recommend this book to any WWII fanatic such as myself.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aiden B.

    This is a good book and I would recommend it. If you like WWII and like to learn about the conflict between Germany and Jewish people than this is the book for you.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Westin

    very good book plz read ending is so happy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lucrecia Ramos

    I really liked the book Prisoner B-3087. It is a book about a young Jewish boy named Yanek Gruener and his large family who lived in Krakow, Poland in the 1940's. During the time they lived, the Nazis were taking over the Jews because they didn't like the Jews by their differences and by how they were. I think that is not fair. Yanek and his family had been hiding so the Nazis wouldn't take them and kill them slowly by the inhumane, terrible things they had prepared to end the Jews. I thought t I really liked the book Prisoner B-3087. It is a book about a young Jewish boy named Yanek Gruener and his large family who lived in Krakow, Poland in the 1940's. During the time they lived, the Nazis were taking over the Jews because they didn't like the Jews by their differences and by how they were. I think that is not fair. Yanek and his family had been hiding so the Nazis wouldn't take them and kill them slowly by the inhumane, terrible things they had prepared to end the Jews. I thought the Nazis would just kill the Jews but instead they made them work so they could suffer to death. One day Yanek saw his parents marching with other Jews that have been caught. Soon he too was taken away to the concentration camps where hundreds of Jews died every day by the lack of daily needs and by abuse. When Yanek and the other Jews arrived at their concentration camps, they got prisoner uniforms and were told the rules. They got tattooed numbers as their identification. Yanek got B-3087. Yanek saw one of his family members but his happiness vanished when he found out that the rest of his family was dead. Soon Yanek was alone and while working, Yanek had memories of his past stolen life. Years and years past and the prisoners travled from concentration camps to concentration camps in cattle trains, marching in harsh weather with just wooden shoes, thin cloths, and no food. Yanek faced challenges but kept surviving. I think he is a strong, determined person. One day the prisoners were rescued and Yanek was free and goes to America to start a new life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I honestly really liked this book, because it made me realize about everything that has been done in the past. The book started out really good, up until the point where Poland was attacked. Yanek and his family survived 3 years in the ghetto. Yanek survived 10 concentration camps, where he got beat sometimes for no reason at all. Yanek saw when his parents where deported. Yanek never really lasted long in the concentration camps, for 3 years he moved from camp to camp. Meeting new people and se I honestly really liked this book, because it made me realize about everything that has been done in the past. The book started out really good, up until the point where Poland was attacked. Yanek and his family survived 3 years in the ghetto. Yanek survived 10 concentration camps, where he got beat sometimes for no reason at all. Yanek saw when his parents where deported. Yanek never really lasted long in the concentration camps, for 3 years he moved from camp to camp. Meeting new people and seeing them die. Yanek only ate once a day, and all he got was really watery soup and bread. He learned that if he wanted to survive he had no identity, he had to work hard, but not so hard. He had to go unnoticed or else he would get killed, if he stopped working he would get killed, if he worked to hard he would probably die as well. He learned that he couldn't talk, couldn't make friends with people, he had to survive by himself.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Damien Goodwin

    I think that it is a really good book, and that I really recommend it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shreya

    The book, Prisoner B-3087 is all about hope, perseverance and staying strong. Yanek, a Jewish boy, is forced to go to many concentration camps. The action happening throughout the book keeps the reader wanting to read more. The author uses descriptive language that helps create a clear picture to what's happening. The book inspires the reader to keep their spirit up despite whats happening

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    Imagine surviving 1 ghetto, 10 concentration camps and 2 death marches. Well, here is the story of a boy who did just that. At 10 years old, Yanek Gruener's life means friends, school and most importantly, being surrounded by loving relatives all living in the center of Krakow, Poland. But his relatives know that soon something is going to happen - after all, they are Jews in a Europe that Hitler wants to make "Jew free." Sure enough, only six days after the German invasion of Poland, Nazi soldie Imagine surviving 1 ghetto, 10 concentration camps and 2 death marches. Well, here is the story of a boy who did just that. At 10 years old, Yanek Gruener's life means friends, school and most importantly, being surrounded by loving relatives all living in the center of Krakow, Poland. But his relatives know that soon something is going to happen - after all, they are Jews in a Europe that Hitler wants to make "Jew free." Sure enough, only six days after the German invasion of Poland, Nazi soldiers march into Krakow, and not long after that, one after another rights, privileges, pleasures, food and freedom are denied its Jewish citizens, until, in 1942, when Yanek is 12, the Nazis begin building the wall that will become the Krakow Ghetto and Yanek soon finds himself living there along with thousands of other displaced Jews. In the ghetto, Yanek and his father prove to be very resourceful in order to survive. When roundups start, to avoid be sent "to the east" and an unknown future, Yanek finds an abandoned pigeon coop on the roof of their building where the family takes up residence. To feed his family, Yanek's father manages to get bread under very dangerous circumstances. And, most telling of all, despite the danger after the Nazis forbide Jews to practice their religion, his father gets together a minyan (a quorum of 10 bar mitvahed men) late one night for Yanek's very unusual secret bar mitvah. The ghetto proves to be only the beginning of Yanek's journey through a system of concentration camps, where survival sometimes depends of cunning, sometimes on luck, always knowing that your life is in the hands of sadistic Nazis, some of whom like to kill Jews for sport. By the time Yanek is sent from the ghetto to the first of ten concentration camps, he has lost his family in a roundup and deportation heading "east" but finds his Uncle Moshe at Plaszów Concentration Camp. You may remember Plaszów from Schindler's List, the camp run by the very, very cruel SS Commander Amon Goeth. It is here that Yanek's Uncle Moshe teaches him survival skills that will serve him well at each camp he is sent to. As a result, Yanek's resolve to survive almost never falters, even when he comes very close to dying. Prisoner B-3087 (B for Birkenau) is based on the life of the real Yanek/Jack Gruener. It is told in a simple, straightforward manner, narrated in the first person by the fictional Yanek, but the voice of the actual Gruener comes through clearly, giving it a sense of authenticity. Yanek never, no matter how badly he is treated, gives into feeling victimized, which is amazing, but may also account for his strong will to survive. Yanek's descriptions of certain things that he either witnesses or that were done to him are sometimes a bit hard to read, but never gratuitous and not including them would sanitize Nazi cruelty to every degree. The narration skillfully balances these cruel, sadistic acts against the Jews with some real heartwarming moments, like the night of Yanek's secret bar mitvah, a kindness Yanek was to repay in Birkenau two years later when he is the first to volunteer to be part of a minyan for another 13 year old boy's forbidden bar mitvah, even though getting caught would mean certain death. Prisoner B-3087 is a book that really must be read to be fully appreciated. Yanek/Jack Gruener's story is incredible, haunting, compelling, heart wrenching, rewarding and not to be missed (and you will find out how Yanek became Jack). This book is recommended for readers age 11+ This book was received as an E-ARC from Net Galley The complete review of Prisoner B-3087 can be found at The Children's War

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anika

    this book was really good. it was really interesting and once you start reading it you can't put the book down.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cooper H.

    Prisoner B-3087 This book is about a boy named Yanek who is alive around the time of hitler who makes all Jews move to the same small village, the soldiers in the village are aloud to just take people off the streets to work in factory's so Yanek's family makes Yanek stay off the streets. (I am skipping to prevent spoiling)Later in the book Yanek does not know what happened to his family and he is alone in his town, then Nick gets taken to a boot camp where the owners kill jews without thought, r Prisoner B-3087 This book is about a boy named Yanek who is alive around the time of hitler who makes all Jews move to the same small village, the soldiers in the village are aloud to just take people off the streets to work in factory's so Yanek's family makes Yanek stay off the streets. (I am skipping to prevent spoiling)Later in the book Yanek does not know what happened to his family and he is alone in his town, then Nick gets taken to a boot camp where the owners kill jews without thought, right as Yanek starts giving up he finds out his uncle is at the camp and they help each other a lot, after that camp he keeps going to different camps, read the book to find out small details. This book was so good I finished it in one day! This book was very suspenseful, I recommend this book to anyone who liked The Night Divided.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lilia

    10 concentration camps and 2 death Marches Imagine having you life being taken away for you. Your family, your friends, your home, anything and everything that you ever had… Gone. This is what Yanek had to go through. He had his family, friends and life taken away from him. After that he as sent to a concentration camp where he fought for survival. He is fighting for survival becuase it is just a game to the Germans and he want to win. Hard work, little food, harsh condition, will he be able to 10 concentration camps and 2 death Marches Imagine having you life being taken away for you. Your family, your friends, your home, anything and everything that you ever had… Gone. This is what Yanek had to go through. He had his family, friends and life taken away from him. After that he as sent to a concentration camp where he fought for survival. He is fighting for survival becuase it is just a game to the Germans and he want to win. Hard work, little food, harsh condition, will he be able to survive? Find out by reading this amazing book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Keagan S.

    Overall just an amazing book. Strongly recommended to anyone.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ryleigh Green

    I absolutely loved this book because it told me a lot about the horrible things that Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jewish and I can't even believe about the horrible things that the Jewish had to go through just because they weren't German. I could never imagine what they went though. This book was by far one of the greatest books I have ever read and I am so glad that I read it. To read this book did not take me very long because I was reading this non stop because it was so good and I was ju I absolutely loved this book because it told me a lot about the horrible things that Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jewish and I can't even believe about the horrible things that the Jewish had to go through just because they weren't German. I could never imagine what they went though. This book was by far one of the greatest books I have ever read and I am so glad that I read it. To read this book did not take me very long because I was reading this non stop because it was so good and I was just hooked on it. I loved everything about this book and I am trying to find another book like this one but I just can't find anything I would like as I did this one. One of my favorite parts in this book was when Yanek said he was not going to die and that he was going to survive. I loved everything about this book and I cried a lot in this book while I was reading it and I suggest that everyone reads this because this was the best book I have have ever read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nikhil

    This book is bested on the true story of a Jewish boy named Yanek, who lived in Poland during WWII. When the Germans came to occupy Poland, they forced Yanek and other Jews into tightly packed Ghettos. Most of Yanek's family was taken away to various places, never to be seen again. Then, Yanek was taken away to a concentration camp. He moved through 9 others. He got a tattoo on his arm "B-3087" which was his prisoners number. Yanek changed his name to Jack Gruener at the end of the war and moved This book is bested on the true story of a Jewish boy named Yanek, who lived in Poland during WWII. When the Germans came to occupy Poland, they forced Yanek and other Jews into tightly packed Ghettos. Most of Yanek's family was taken away to various places, never to be seen again. Then, Yanek was taken away to a concentration camp. He moved through 9 others. He got a tattoo on his arm "B-3087" which was his prisoners number. Yanek changed his name to Jack Gruener at the end of the war and moved to America. Overall I thought this book was very good, however it got a little repetitive because Yanke moved through 10 concentration camps.

  28. 5 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: Holocaust, violence, concentration camps, death of a parent, death of a friend, death of a family member, war, executions, genocide. This is an absolutely fascinating and largely true story. But at the same time, I wanted it to be longer. This book is only 260 pages and yet it covers Yanek's childhood in Poland, the outbreak of war, his family hiding on the roof of their apartment building, and then his experiences in TEN different concentration camps. And while I was hooked to Trigger warnings: Holocaust, violence, concentration camps, death of a parent, death of a friend, death of a family member, war, executions, genocide. This is an absolutely fascinating and largely true story. But at the same time, I wanted it to be longer. This book is only 260 pages and yet it covers Yanek's childhood in Poland, the outbreak of war, his family hiding on the roof of their apartment building, and then his experiences in TEN different concentration camps. And while I was hooked to the page throughout, I found myself wanting. I know it's written for middle grade/younger YA audiences and so it glosses over a lot of the details. But I still felt like it didn't QUITE do justice to Yanek's incredible survival. I also would have loved to know more about Yanek's life after the war because the end of the book indicates that it continued to be utterly fascinating. All of that being said, this was a very fast-paced and compelling story of a Jewish teenager struggling to survive in WWII, and I'm glad I read it (if in part so that I can try and find a biography of Yanek to find out more details of his life).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Very good. This book was really good and way to read. It kept you hooked from the beginning.I'm glad these stories are told so people won't forget

  30. 5 out of 5

    nayeli

    I actually really liked this book. It's about a kid named Yanek, he liked school, his family and his friends. At first Yanek and his family got away with hiding in a pigeon coop, but soon after they were dragged to go work at camps. Eventually they got Yanek and at his first camp he found his Uncle Moshe, but soon realizes the rest of his family were dead. Each day Yanek kept on getting weaker and weaker, since they didn't feed them much. Thorough the whole story the Nazis treated them pretty ba I actually really liked this book. It's about a kid named Yanek, he liked school, his family and his friends. At first Yanek and his family got away with hiding in a pigeon coop, but soon after they were dragged to go work at camps. Eventually they got Yanek and at his first camp he found his Uncle Moshe, but soon realizes the rest of his family were dead. Each day Yanek kept on getting weaker and weaker, since they didn't feed them much. Thorough the whole story the Nazis treated them pretty bad, I mean you couldn't talk unless they told you to, or if you wouldn't get up in the morning they would beat you until you did, but if you didn't they'd just shoot you in the head, they even treated animals way better. I was pretty surprised honestly on how so many times Yanek got so close to death and he lived. He lived by remembering he was someone, but yet he was no one, his memories and his future. I think this book taught me how lucky we actually are and just how we take things for granted. I think the sign post helped look at the story and understand it more clearly. I guess I would say this would be okay to do some other time. And really, I don't think I'd change anything, I liked the books, and that we got to choose our own. So yeah, I'd do it again.

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