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The Librarian of Auschwitz (Antonio Iturbe)

"Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope." The sentence, at the end of The Librarian of Auschwitz's back cover synopsis, is the best way to describe this book.

Dita is an amazing character because she brings life and light to a dark place. Her sense of honor and duty, despite difficult (understatement) challenges is encouraging. She was a great protagonist to some of history's most horrendous real-life villains. Knowing that Dita was based on an actual Holocaust prisoner just made me appreciate her character even more.

There were parts of the story that had my heart thumping in my chest with anticipation. Antonio Iturbe did a splendid job of building suspense. When Dr. Mengele made an appearance, I was instantly thrust into worry for Dita. I am not a Holocaust researcher, but I know enough to know that he was a horrible person. While reading The Librarian of Auschwitz, this video popped up on my Facebook feed. It really helped me appreciate how horrific these experiences were, and exactly what Dita was up against if she was discovered.



Unfortunately, the setting was easily imagined. Maybe it's because of all the images we have seen in history books or through documentaries, but I had no trouble visualizing the horrors young Dita experienced. While the topic could easily become too much for younger readers, this story walks a straight line between two difficult tasks: keeping the story authentic without watering down what really happened.


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