The Devil's Arithmetic

By Jane Yolen,

Book cover of The Devil's Arithmetic

Book description

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Devil's Arithmetic as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

When you open a door, you might find something unexpected on the other side. And that’s what happens to Hannah Stern when she opens the door to welcome Elijah the prophet to her family’s Passover seder, and finds herself back in time to Nazi-occupied Poland. Hannah has heard the stories of her relatives’ lives during the Holocaust, so now, as she and the other Jews of the town are being rounded up and sent away, she knows where they’re going and what awaits them.

In the camp, Hannah experiences the horrors her relatives lived through. And the next door that…

This book is an oldie but goodie! It was first published in 1998 and has had a lasting impression on me. If you're the kind of person that loves a bit of fantasy mixed with history, this book is for you! The protagonist, Hannah, time-travels from her current-day home back to 1942, just when the Nazis are beginning to take everyone from the village in Poland where the story is set. I loved how Jane Yolan drew the tension of this story out over eight visits to this village. It held me all the way through.

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