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review 2017-02-21 02:35
Book Review: My Bridges of Hope by Livia Bitton-Jackson
My Bridges of Hope - Livia Bitton-Jackson

I went into this book not really knowing what to expect — I’m not sure how it ended up on my family’s shelves, but I noticed it one day and added it to my to-read list for the future. Now, I have no idea where my copy of this book is, but luckily, the library had a copy. This is a memoir about a teenage girl’s coming of age after she survives the Holocaust and struggles to make a life for herself and make sense of the world after what she suffered, and after the turmoil that her country is put in post-World War II. It’s written in a very easy-to-read manner, so I can see this being a great introduction to older children and middle-graders as to what different people had to deal with during this time. It’s also a pretty quick read and told in short segments, so it would be easy to include in a Holocaust curriculum, at least in part.

 

This is apparently book 2 in a series, and I love that it follows the aftermath of the Holocaust, which I don’t think is talked about quite as much — or at least, my teachers never focused on it as much as the Holocaust itself. I’ve never read much about what happened to Slovakia after the war, so I enjoyed this book for giving me that perspective and teaching me more about all the different countries and people who were affected by the Holocaust, and how the surrender of Germany didn’t lead to immediately fixing anti-Semitism. Livia tells her story with painstaking honesty, and it hurt to see how roughly Jewish people were treated even after the war, and how hard it was for them to reunite with family members who had already emigrated to the United States or other countries. For some, it was even impossible.

 

Overall, I recommend this for someone who’s looking to learn more about this time period and what people had to deal with. In a way, it was heartening to read, because the community came together for each other and all supported one other so that they could make a better life for themselves. It’s still horrifying that any people were ever treated the way Jewish people were treated during this time, but reading about someone overcoming that hate and being an integral part in building up her community was heartwarming.

Source: www.purplereaders.com/?p=3418
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-08-08 14:52
Is there any hope?
I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust - Livia Bitton-Jackson

In a moment Elli Friedman's world had flipped 365 degrees. Where she once went to a nice school now she was on her way to a ghetto. Where she once had many friends...now she had non. She hated the star of David she wore on every article of clothing. Her friends had left her because of it. life seemed pretty hopeless.

But then just as she is about to be sent to her death the guard sends her the other way...the way to a living hell....but at least she now has a chance at life...

(spoiler show)

I loved this book. Livia Bitton Jackson is a very good writer. She was able to express herself so well that she actually made you feel like you were there. She made you feel like you had crawled into her mind and was helping her mother and herself survive. I have no idea..not the slightest thought on how she achieved this. But all I know is she is one of the best writer I have ever come across. She kept you on the ede of your seat the whole time.

There is not really anything I did not like. I mean considering as it is a book about the Holocaust it does have a lot of gory stuff in it. But what do you expect.

 This book is not for someone who has a weak stomach or for small children who have nightmares. There are parts where the girl in the book watches S.S. guards kill, torture, yell vulgar things,etc. at people. For me and my siblings it was a very emotional ride. And by the end of the book all three of us were emotionally done. It strips you down to your bare emotions. After reading I Have Live A Thousand Years I looked at life in a completely new light. In a better light. It showed me that things don't matter. The only thing that does matter is life and

if you can somehow keep your mother and brother alive in the most trying situations you can and you are a hero in my eyes. 

(spoiler show)

Even though he book is very depressing I recommend you read it. If you want to know about the Holocaust but don't want to do a lot of research then this book is for you. After you read this you will have enough knowledge to last you awhile. If you read this book and The Diary of Anne Frank I think I can safely say you know the basics(and a bit more) about the Holocaust. 
 

 

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review 2014-07-01 04:22
I Have Lived A Thousand Years
I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust - Livia Bitton-Jackson

An excellent first-hand account of the horrors of the Holocaust told by one who survived against all odds, this is one of the most gripping autobiographies I've ever read. I had the opportunity to meet Livia at the Memorial Library New York and hear her speak. She's an amazing woman, and her story is one I think everyone should learn. 

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review 2013-11-29 00:00
My Bridges of Hope
My Bridges of Hope - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

I read this following Bitton-Jackson's remarkable "Elli," and wow, was I disappointed. While "Elli" has somewhat the feel of a YA book, it is never dumbed-down and never glossed over.

"My Bridges of Hope" covers a longer time span, and perhaps that's part of the problem with it, but it feels mostly like a summary of the author's time following the Holocaust to her immigration to America. There are a couple chilling moments, some times when emotion peeks through the list of events, but overall there is something about the dialogue, the constant "my God" exclamations, that feels both exaggerated and over-dramatic. Although the events of the Holocaust were probably much more harrowing than the aftermath, the quiet remembrance of events, the writing itself, in Bitton-Jackson's first memoir evokes emotion in the reader - Bitton-Jackson mastered there the art of telling the emotional, dramatic story that she just didn't repeat here.

It has its moments of beauty, but certainly not enough to make this worthwhile reading. Stop while you're ahead. Read "Elli" and skip this one.

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review 2013-11-02 00:00
Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust
Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust - Livia Bitton-Jackson This is another one I read probably over twenty five years ago. And it's another I've kept for that long. A second reading should give a better idea of whether the book stands up over time.
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