This clearly-written, accessible biography tells the story of Elie Wiesel’s life in the context of historical events, both in his native Romania and in Europe. Using a wide variety of sources, Moore paints the picture of a young teen, his family, and his community torn asunder during the Holocaust. Moore’s dramatic, vivid writing communicates the horror the Jews faced: “The Jews of Sighet were frightened by what they heard. Hitler was a fire on the horizon; his flame grew closer as months went by.” Moore describes Wiesel’s life after 1945 and includes interesting bits about his wife and son. She offers a fascinating glimpse into Wiesel’s writing— both content and process.
The book includes elements that help the young reader navigate: contents, timeline, chapter notes, glossary, and index. In addition, separate pages act as sidebars to the main narrative. Some examples are: minibiographies of Adolf Hitler and François Mauriac, as well as Wiesel’s acceptance speech on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. Unfortunately, the book contains several errors. For example, “omnipotent” is quoted from a source instead of “impotent.” This book should help promote Elie Wiesel’s ineluctable aim: “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” Let us hope this goal is achieved. Ages 12 and up.