Posted in 2013-2014 Club, Not Mock Newbery

Prisoner B-3087, by Alan Gratz

PrisonerB3087Summary:  Based on the astonishing true story of Ruth and Jack Gruener, this gripping novel follows a young Jewish boy from Poland who is forced from one nightmarish concentration camp to another, as World War II rages all around him.

Scholastic

Find it at WCPL

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4 thoughts on “Prisoner B-3087, by Alan Gratz

  1. This is a very deep story with lots of minor themes. I think though, that the major theme is hope. Yanek, the main character struggles through tons of different concentration camps promising to survive. In his situation it would have been nearly impossible to keep hope, to believe that there was an end, but Yanek does. He has a very hopeful, caring personality which really made me connect to him. In these concentration camps the people are drained of their energy through lots of strenuous work and killed if they don’t lie low. That means to avoid making friends and having any personality at all. Despite this, Yanek can’t hold back from helping a few people around him and befriending them, even though it risks him his life.
    This true story is a very horrific, amazing, and emotional one, I think the author should have taken advantage of this and put as much feeling into this book as he could, but he didn’t. He did a good job of the characters but the writing style was lacking and near the end I was a little bored. This is only partially the author’s fault since after so many concentration camps they all seem the same and there are no more horrific surprises.
    Since this is one of the first books i have read this year I have nothing to compare it with, but just by reading it I don’t think this is the Newbery.

  2. This book was really interesting and a bit depressing. Overall, it was amazing. The way the story was broken up into each concentration camp was really creative and I really enjoyed the way Alan Gratz chose the perfect words to show the pain Yanek was going through throughout the story. This could be a winner, but I still have to read more books.

  3. I read Prisoner B-3087. I have to agree with Krista. I felt the story was a powerful one, just because of the subject matter. The fact that Yanek survived all these camps is amazing in and of itself. It should not have been hard to make it involving, but we are kept on the outside. The writing style was almost a documentary style, very matter of fact. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that writing style was appropriate for this book. I did not feel a connection to Yanek. Only a few times did I feel involvd: during the march when he helped his fellow prisoner walk, yet it cost him every bit of strength he had and his loaf of bread for the day. That part got an emotional response out of me, as well as when he hid under the boards. The rest of the time the story was dead for me. I also didn’t feel like any of the characters were well developed. All in all, I was not impressed. I think it’s an important story to tell, but there are other books out there about this topic that I feel are more powerful.

  4. When I was reading this book, I right away figured out that this book was going to be a deep, heart to heart kind of book, but usually in those kind of books you feel a strong connection. In Prisoner B- 3087, I did not feel the connection. The plot was played out cleverly and consistently, but for me, an important part for me was missing. When I was reading the book, I felt like I was just standing by watching the story play out. I didn’t feel like I was part of the story standing right next to the characters. This book just didn’t grab me that way. These kinds of stories have already been said, written, and told. Everyone already knows the horrifying and terrible truth behind this cruel event, and this isn’t the author’s fault. I felt that the author could have made this book stand out, by adding a bit more emotion to it. By doing this, the author might of been able to create a connection with the readers. I liked this book as a good read, but for me it is not Newbery.

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