Elie Wiesel: Sur­viv­ing the Holo­caust, Speak­ing Out Against Genocide

Lisa Moore
  • Review
By – October 24, 2011

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.

Anne Dublin is the teacher-librar­i­an at Holy Blos­som Tem­ple in Toron­to, Cana­da and an award-win­ning author of books for chil­dren and young adults. Her lat­est book is June Call­wood: A Life of Action (Sec­ond Sto­ry Press, 2006).

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