Tween & Teen Tuesday
Every Tuesday, we review either a juvenile (J) or young adult (YA) book
The Devil’s Arithmetic
Jane Yolen (Young Adult Historical Fiction)
The goal is to stay alive. One day after the next after the next. One plus one plus one. The devil’s arithmetic.
Thirteen-year old Hannah Stern is not looking forward to celebrating the upcoming Passover Seder. She is bored with her family’s stories of the past. In fact, every Jewish holiday seems to be yet another occasion to relive those bad memories. But this year, Hannah will be transported into the past and it won’t be long before she desires the comfort and safety of what the future once held.
This period in history is horrific and harrowing, and the stories told by the Holocaust survivors still tear at our very soul and question our humanity. In the afterward, Yolen describes the heroism of the camp’s survivors: “To witness. To remember. These were the only victories of the camps.” This story and its characters will haunt you long after you’ve turned the last page. May we never forget.