April 10, 2022

Boy from Buchenwald | Book Review

The Children’s Book Review

Book Review of Boy from Buchenwald
The Children’s Book Review

Boy from Buchenwald

Written by Robbie Waisman with Susan McClelland

Ages 9-11 | 288 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books | ISBN: 9781547606009

What to Expect: Holocaust, healing, reconciliation, forgiveness

Filled with heartbreakingly detailed memories, Robbie Waisman’s narrative is painful in a way that is both necessary and healing.

After his liberation from the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, Romek Waisman had a lot of anger: for the people who had abused him and the world that had let it happen. Along with other teen boys liberated from the camp, he became one of the “Buchenwald Boys,” using violence and crime to rebel against the horror he had witnessed and suffered through. However, Romek’s downward spiral was halted when he and 427 other boys were taken to a home for rehabilitation in France. There, Romek would begin a journey of healing that would help him re-learn how to forgive, love, and live again.

Told in the first person, the account depicts both the best and the worst that humanity has to offer, inviting readers to vicariously experience Waisman’s own process of healing and moving on. Throughout the story, photographs add their own flavor of authenticity to the retelling, while flashbacks at the beginning of each chapter offer a history lesson on how easy it is for a genocide to begin. This is a narrative that challenges readers to both remember and forgive, just as the Buchenwald Boys themselves did. It is not easy to read, but any reader who picks it up will be glad they did so.

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About the Authors
Robbie Waisman

Romek “Robbie” Waisman is a Polish-Canadian educator and active member of the Holocaust survivor community in Canada.

Susan McClelland

Susan McClelland is a freelance magazine journalist based in Toronto. She has won and been nominated for numerous investigative reporting and feature-writing awards, and is the recipient of the 2005 Amnesty International Media Award.

Boy from Buchenwald, written by Robbie Waisman and Susan McClelland, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Boy from Buchenwald by following our reviews and articles tagged with Holocaust and non-fiction.

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