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Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz: Home

2019 OMS Authors-in-Residence Program: Tuesday, November 19

A New York Times Bestseller

“Both moving and memorable, combining the emotional resolve of a memoir with the rhythm of a novel.”
New York Times Book Review

In 1945, in a now-famous piece of World War II archival footage, four-year-old Michael Bornstein was filmed by Soviet soldiers as he was carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother’s arms. Survivors Club tells the unforgettable story of how a father’s courageous wit, a mother’s fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved his life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness. Working from his own recollections as well as extensive interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family, Michael relates his inspirational Holocaust survival story with the help of his daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat. Shocking, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, this narrative nonfiction offers an indelible depiction of what happened to one Polish village in the wake of the German invasion in 1939. This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.

Book Excerpt & Reviews

Click on the image of the book below to access a free preview on Google Books. The preface titled "It's Time to Talk" is 8 pages and provides some context for the authors' story. Each author offers his and her own perspective in this preface. Feel free to read this to or share this with your students.

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EDITORIAL BOOK REVIEWS

“A powerful reconstruction of family history . . . An ideal follow-up selection for students who have read The Diary of Anne Frank.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Middle schoolers will be engrossed by Bornstein’s account . . . The book is written in a soothing tone, which helps balance some of the grim details of Jewish life under the Nazi regime . . . The storytelling is fast-paced, and readers will be fascinated by this family’s survival and endurance. Few Holocaust survivors are still alive; Bornstein’s account is an excellent addition to middle school collections.” —School Library Journal

“In today's world, it remains more important than ever to remember these survivors.” —Kirkus Reviews

Survivors Club Teaching Guide

Survivors Club: Introductory Video