Sarah's Stars

Jane Yolen. The Devil's Arithmetic
Puffin  $6.99  ISBN 0-14-034535-3  170 pg.
Reviewed by Whitney, Age 12

Know, my son, that the enemy will always be with you. He will be in the shadow of your dreams and in your living flesh, for he is the other part of yourself. There will be times when he will surround you with walls of darkness. But remember always that your soul is secure to you, for your soul is entire, and that he cannot enter your soul, for your soul is part of God.

Hannah hates going to her familyís Passover Seder; she has to spend time with all her relatives that she really doesnít like, and has to listen to Grandpa Will yell at the T.V. all night long. She would rather be at her friend Rosemaryís house. During dinner Hannah is asked to open the door of the apartment for Prophet Elijah, as she does so she is all of a sudden in a house with people she doesnít even know, in 1942! When the Naziís arrive in the town saying all Jews are being relocated, Hannah knows whatís coming but nobody will listen to her. Will Hannah ever get out of there alive and back to her family, or will she be killed in the horrible concentration camps, too?

The Devilís Arithmetic, written by Jane Yolen, received a National Jewish Book Award. Jane Yolen started writing when she was in first grade. Other books that Yolen has written include: Children of the Wolf, The Dragonís Boy, The Gift of Sarah Baker, and Prince Across Water. I recommend reading them all, as I have read the reviews and they all sound great.

This historical fiction novel called The Devilís Arithmetic is one of the best books I have EVER read! And trust me, I donít find those often. This book has excellent descriptions that make you feel like you are there, in the moment. For example, when she is describing the journey to the camp, the smells, sights, and feelings that Hannah goes through is amazing. She describes the Holocaust so well; it is great but sad at the same time. I feel that I could be there with everyone, but at the same time I really wouldnít want to be there.

I recommend reading this book if you are in grades 6-10 because there are ĎThematic Elementsí like in movies, which even frightened me a little. Still, I think this is an excellent book and everyone should read it.

I give The Devilís Arithmetic five out of five stars!

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