Parents' Guide to


By Lucinda Dyer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Unforgettable memoir of teen who survived the Holocaust.

Night Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 14+

Parents should read this with their children: violence, sexual references, and heavy topics

I read a lot of World War II books. This one was assigned for my son's junior high homeschool curriculum, and I am struggling with the choice based on the themes, references and difficult to process evil that is described. It already is an upsetting topic, but it does not soften the blows, so be prepared if you have a sensitive child/teen. I normally trust the parent reviews on this site, so I wanted to be sure to note they are incorrect on there being nothing sexual in this book. There are several mentions of guards preying on younger boys. Here is one example: "Like the head of the camp, he liked children. Immediately after our arrival, he had bread brought for them, some soup and margarine. (In fact, this affection was not entirely altruistic; there existed here a veritable traffic of children among homosexuals, I learned later.)" There also is a part where the main character comes upon a guard having sex with a woman, and because he witnessed this, he was lashed with a whip. "..of Idek and a young Polish girl, half naked, on a straw mat. Now I understood why Idek refused to leave us in the camp. He moved one hundred prisoners so he could copulate with this girl! ... Idek jumped, turned and saw me, while the girl tried to cover up her breasts..." While mild language for the scenes, my child is going to have a LOT of questions while reading this book. It may be hard for a child to read this and understand the response to trauma. For example, one boy kills his own father as he fights him for a piece of bread. It is definitely not something I would hand him and expect him to process on his own. It's a valuable account of history and is a gut-wrenching look at what evil humans are capable of. It is something all children need to understand eventually. It is just maybe not the first book I would have them read on the Holocaust.
3 people found this helpful.
age 18+

Not for kids. More disturbing, detailed, graphically violent that other Holocaust stories. Sexual abuse of minors, nudity, sexual references. You will likely lose innocence and sleep.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (34):

Harrowing, heartbreaking, and brutal, this unforgettable memoir of a teenage survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald is essential reading for anyone studying the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel tells his story in a voice that is quiet and spare. Only the most essential words are needed to describe the horrors he witnessed. Wiesel has stated that Night begins where Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl ends. For teens whose knowledge of the Holocaust goes no further than the young Dutch girl who wrote, "In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart," Night may be hard to process emotionally. For all readers, it could help begin difficult discussions about the nature of good and evil in the world.

Book Details

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