Daniel’s Story by Carol Matas

Karen McKinnon is helping me out by writing up some reviews on children’s books. We will have regular post from her and I will try and give some background on the author and other books of the same author.

Feel free to comment or to give more suggestion for great books for kids.

Daniel’s Story by Carol Matas

Given the creature-comforts that most grade seven and eight students enjoy in the western world today, it is a disquieting feeling to be taken back into another era, a war-time era, to the hardships endured by a 14 year old Jewish boy in an all too well-known, concentration camp – Auschwitz. How Daniel ended up there, what his life was like beforehand, and how his existence became no more than a test of will to survive, day after agonizing day, is a story that every young person of privilege should read. Why? If for no other reason, than to truly reflect on their own lives, and to gain an understanding of what IS important, and what may be, perhaps, of lesser consequence.

Daniel’s story is gripping from the first page on. You quickly become immersed in his world; so innocent and normal one moment, so confusing and horrific the next. You cannot help but feel profound empathy for him and his family as they face the unknown. You cannot turn your back on a family torn apart, like a hundred thousand others, where luck carried a few through to the end, and bad luck prevailed for most.

Daniel’s Story is disturbing at times but, then again, so is history. With the story written in first-person format, students will feel Daniel’s pain, his helplessness and his sense of responsibility in looking after, not only his own health, but that of his father, whose very existence gives Daniel a reason to survive, when all else seems so lost.

The story is not all misery. There are poignant moments that entice the reader to soldier on, just as similar more meager moments of joy must have enticed prisoners of Auschwitz to carry on. This story is about survival. This story is about love. But most important, this story is about the human spirit as presented by a young boy who struggles with his own feelings of faith and hope.

By Karen McKinnon

Comments by Carol Matas

Thank you for the wonderful review. Some people when they read this book see only the horror- mainly adults actually. But you managed to see the hope and the love and that makes me, as the writer, very happy. I have a new book set in WW2 and about the Holocaust called The Whirlwind. It follows a boy who manages to escape Germany for the US but he cannot leave the terror behind…
All best,
Carol

Advertisements

5 Responses

  1. Thank you for the wonderful review. Some people when they read this book see only the horror- mainly adults actually. But you managed to see the hope and the love and that makes me, as the writer, very happy. I have a new book set in WW2 and about the Holocaust called The Whirlwind. It follows a boy who manages to escape Germany for the US but he cannot leave the terror behind…
    All best,
    Carol

  2. […] I just realize more and more the power there is in a blog. I’ve posted a book review on Daniel’s Story by Carol Matas and was I surprised when the author left a comment on the blog. The power that I was […]

  3. I read Daniel’s Story many years ago and yet it is one book that will stay in my mind forever. The book itself is about a horrific thing, yes, but the perspective that this book is taken from provides the hope and strength needed. The other two that I enjoyed immensely were Lisa and Jesper. They continue to show that no matter who you are, you can make a positive difference. I still can’t believe that I’m reading her comment!! Thanks for the books!

    =Scott G.

  4. I really like how you described the book with such potent words! Thanks for the review!

    Melissa S.

  5. I love this book i have read it 3-4 times and i look forward to reading it again i even got a friend of mine to read it . It is a very inspiring book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: