by Cook Cutlery, guest reviewer

Title: Night
Author: Elie Wiesel
Format:
Hardcover
# of pages: 108 pages
Grade Reading Level: 8.7

Summary: Elie Wiesel is a young 14 year old Jewish Orthodox boy. He's 15 at the end. He lived during the time that Adolf Hitler rose to power. He was one of very few to survive the Holocaust. Night is his journey of how he and his father survive the different concentration camps, one of which was Auschwitz. During the journey they are evacuated from Buna and sent to Auschwitz’s concentration camp.  Once they walk through the gate of Auschwitz it’s only the beginning of their rigorous journey to survive the horrors they are going to encounter and endure.

Why I Started This Book:

We read this book in language arts as part of our Holocaust unit. We read Night because he was the same age as many of us in class and this is the story of how he survived some truly awful terrible things.

Likes:

  • Elie Wiesel is a truly extraordinary human being. I'm glad he survived and I can only wish there had been more survivors.
  • I am grateful many of the descriptions were brief and that some things were condensed to a few sentences. It made it easier for me to read it.
  • I liked this book because it tells a tale of inner strength. If someone, especially a kid, survive all that, it really makes you think. It's sort of empowering because of that. It's a good lesson to teach kids. You can survive even the worst of troubles, fears, and experiences.

Dislikes:

  • This really isn't against the book so much as it's against human history. I can hardly wrap my mind around the fact that anyone could think doing this to people is okay. Ethnic cleansing is not okay and it made me really uncomfortable to read about it from someone's personal experience. It's impossible to understand such evil.
  • On the trip to Auschwitz a woman has visions and starts to scream out “Fire! Can’t you see it? Fire!” Many people run to the edge of the cattle cart to see if there was a fire and there wasn’t one, but still she persisted in screaming “Fire!” until some men beat her up. How awful. Then they tie her up and gag her to silence her. Then when they arrive at the gate of Auschwitz they realized why the woman was screaming “Fire!” because when they looked up they saw a huge crematory and they looked at the chimney, coming out of it was huge flames. This is even worse. I can barely stand imagining such a scene let alone living through it in real life.
  • I also disliked the fact that his father didn’t survive when they got to the other camp. I wish Elie was able to say goodbye to his father before he was taken in the night. I wish I could rewrite the ending if not the whole story. The whole thing is so sad.

Last Minute Thoughts: Reading this book is like squeezing your heart until you feel all bruised and hallowed out. It isn't pleasure reading and despite the rating I probably wouldn't read it again, but it's definitely a book you should made a point of reading.

Buy: Night

Rating: I give this book 3 out of 5 treasure chests.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kaitlyn Burgess October 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm

This book shared great insight into the mind of a young adult as he chronicles his journey of survival throughout numerous concentration camps. Would definitely recommend!

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