Parents' Guide to

Signs of Survival: A Memoir of the Holocaust

By Mary Krawczyk, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Courageous sisters persevere in powerful Holocaust memoir.

Two girls speak to each other in sign language on a street with Nazi flags handing on the buildings.

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+
This is an amazing true story with great characters. There is violence however, like mentions of the gas chambers, people being beat, etc. but nothing is over dramatized. Great book for kids learning about the Holocaust.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is an important Holocaust memoir, with the sisters' firsthand accounts as childhood survivors providing immediacy and relatability for young readers. At the center of Signs of Survival: A Memoir of the Holocaust is the loving relationship between Renee and Herta as they struggle to survive. The fact that Herta is not only the younger sister but also deaf compels Renee to be a courageous caretaker. The book is based on oral testimony from the sisters and is told in short chapters and simple, straightforward language. Although the book is not graphic in the details, the sisters are separated from their parents, experience horrible conditions at Bergen-Belsen, and witness violence and death. Their family members die in the Holocaust.

The book gives a glimpse at the sisters' lives in the United States, including photographs. They reflect on their experiences and even return to visit Bratislava. In the epilogue, Joshua M. Greene provides historical context and details related to the Holocaust and World War II. Although the subject matter maybe be difficult for younger or more sensitive readers, this is a good book to introduce the subject of the Holocaust and why it's important to keep telling these stories. Readers will be inspired by the sisters' courage, compassion, and perseverance.

Book Details

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