A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Every victim's story deserves to be known. Even in the face of the horrors of war and persecution, a person can find hope and the strength to go on.
Violence & Scariness
Not as graphic as some other Holocaust accounts, but it does describe massacres and cold-blooded murders. Author Jacob Boas describes the circumstances of each teen's death. All the diarists are haunted by the murders of friends.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jacob Boas' We Are Winesses: Five Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust gathers vivid excerpts from the diaries of five Jewish teens. While the excerpts don't have the power of a continuous narrative, their cumulative effect is devastating. And Holocaust survivor Boas' commentary has a power all its own. Only one photo of each diarist is provided; they range from muddy to riveting.
Is It Any Good?
These sobering diaries show how the Nazi terror blankets Europe, touching the home countries of each teen. The records of the three who spend time in Jewish ghettos are especially harrowing. Though his comments may at first seem intrusive, Jacob Boas proves a trustworthy guide, filling in details that enrich the diaries and eloquently showing how the teens are united in life as well as in death.
Few Holocaust diaries are as finely observed, or offer the same narrative opportunities, as Anne Frank's. Yet reading excerpts from these five journals is a powerful reminder that every victim's story deserves to be known. Each of the teen writers reveals emotions that will resonate with readers: David's tenderheartedness, Yitzhak's idealism, Moshe's ambition, Eva's longing for her mother, Anne's desire for independence. They speak and act as adolescents do, yet the day-to-day events they chronicle grow increasingly horrifying.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate