After the War: From Auschwitz to Ambleside

By Tom Palmer (Barrington Stoke)

After the War: From Auschwitz to Ambleside By Tom Palmer

Abi's review
I really enjoyed reading this book because it shows you what the concentration camps and wars were like from a child's perspective. Personally, I found Yossi and Mordecai the most interesting because although they were worried about their families, they were very reassuring towards the younger children. I learnt a lot about Auschwitz through this book, like how not every single Jew went to the concentration camps for multiple reasons; they weren't capable of working, they were too young or too old, they were ill these are some of the reasons all Jews didn’t stay at concentration camps. This took place from 1939-1945 or during WW2 I found this interesting because it wasn’t a long time ago and a lot has changed since. The book has been very thought-provoking it made The Holocaust understandable from a child’s point of view.

Aisha's review
'After the War' is set after World War Two and follows the story of three friends Leo, Mordecai and Yossi, who were among 300 child Holocaust survivors called the Windemere Children. It is based in the English Lake District. 

The story was very interesting, and also very sad, as the boys were sent to Calgarth Estate to get better because they were very traumatised, had lost everything and were in very poor health. 

Even though the story is tragic, it teaches about hope and perseverance, even when things are really hard. 

I really liked Yossi as he has a lot of hope, even though he is very scared and also shows a lot of care for those around him. 

I know a little bit about the Holocaust but did not know about the people who survived and what they had to go through after, especially the children so this will help me when I learn about it next year. 

I am very glad I read this book and I think others should read it too.

James's review
This is a period of history that I find really interesting, I enjoy finding out about the World War II era. The Holocaust is an absolutely horrific story, and this book deals with it sincerely and sensitively, yet also focuses on survival. I liked the way the three boys had such a tight friendship; they had been through so much together they became like family to each other. The fact they couldn’t sleep without each other. Also it was interesting the way Leo was a boy of action, Mordechai was religious and Yossi couldn’t seem to accept that God could have allowed such suffering. The personal flashbacks from Yossi’s memories were really powerful, such as his mother’s last words to him, or his teacher getting beaten and taken away. I was left with a feeling of hope as these three had survived and found kindness in England, despite the horrendous pain and loss they had been through.

Eloise's review
I really enjoyed this book as overall it is quite a sad book but has a unexpected happy ending. I also liked how it switched from the lake district to the war but not too often that it was confusing. It was also very interesting that it seemed to be a mix of fiction and non-fiction with real life events in it but not a factual book. Overall I really enjoyed this book.

5 out of 5 stars.

Max's review
This book is about three children: Yossi, Leo and Mordecai. These children had survived a concentration camp and are going back to the Lake District to try and recover but they are haunted by the memories they have from the camps.

I found Yossi the most interesting character as he is haunted the most because he is waiting for the arrival of his father and doesn’t know if he is alive or not. Yossi is also the most exciting as he is brave and up to do things that others wouldn’t do.

The thing I liked most about this book is that it wasn’t too long ago and is a true story. I tend to like true stories because it has pictures of them, diary entries and even quotes.

I would definitely recommend this book to others because it teaches you a lot about the war and things that happened in places we know. It doesn’t just teach you - its fun to read because you don’t know what’s coming next and it really builds suspense.

Evie's review
I really enjoyed reading this book. We have done the Holocaust in class, but this is a story I was not familiar with. I really liked the three boys – Yossi, Leo and Mordechai – and the way their friendship was described. It was something hopeful in such an awful story. I think the fact that they had survived the camps also made the book hopeful, even though Yossi had his flashbacks to the painful memories. I learnt about the Calgarth estate which I had never heard of, and the Jewish children who were housed there are the end of the war. I would definitely recommend this book to other pupils as the story is interesting and hopeful, yet also educational about the Jewish experience.

Olivia's review
I really enjoyed this book. Mordecai was my favourite character because, although he was weird and quiet, he was also the most responsible and the smartest character. 

I’m a big fan of history and read a lot of historical fiction. This book had an interesting and unusual focus because it is about what happened after the war, not during it. I learnt all about the work of the Red Cross, reuniting children from the concentration camps. 

The plot had moments of seriousness and some light hearted bits. It was mainly serious, but that suited the subject matter. I enjoyed the tone.

The bit that most stood out for me was the flashback that Yossi has, of him being back in the camps. This really brought the facts of the war to life - and made me feel very sorry for Yossi. I also learnt the real meaning of the word ‘ghetto’  - I’d heard the word before, but this book showed me the reality in detail. 

I would definitely recommend this book to my teachers and to all children aged 10+, who are interested in World War 2 and its aftermath.

Nathan's review
In this book I really enjoyed the mystery and suspense, such as when Yossi was scared and desperate to hear hopefully good news or signs on his missing farther. The character that I found the most interesting was Yossi because I felt that he was the main character and then again I liked him because his dad was announced missing in the start of the book leaving suspense for the reader. I would probably recommend this book to students/pupils of kings school who like and are interested in the history of world war 1 and world war 2 and people who like a bit of mystery and suspense in the books that they read.

Kaida's review
The characters I found most interesting are Yossi, Mordecai and Leo because they are very resilient and stick together no matter what. There isn’t any characters that I don’t like, they are all very interesting. In the book from the past, I have learnt is that Jews weren’t liked during the war how people nowadays knew how to treat others the way they would want to be treated. Being set during the war makes the history/time interesting to me because it shows a true story of what really happened compared to now, how lucky we are. The plot, I found very interesting because, Dorothy’s son hadn’t come back from back from the war and the family feared he’d died until, Yossi found Peter and reunited him with his family.

Mostly standing out is how much the three friends Yossi, Mordecai and Leo stick together and try to agree with each other to make each other happy.

I would recommend this book to another pupil because it is a easy to read as it is from a child’s perspective and, a child who has experienced what has been happening to them.

I haven’t learnt any knew words or facts as a result of the story, but I didn’t like how I didn’t get to find out if Yossi could be reunited with his father or if his father had died.

Flavius's review
From three boys, escaping the horrors of the Nazi Concentration Camps to them living together in peace and harmony. This book truly showed me, how the terrors of WW2, and the policies of the Nazis. affected young kids’ lives. My enjoyment for this book could not be expressed, as it showed me how powerful friendship really is.

Personally, my favourite character must be Yossi since I always tend to have a greater interest in the main character. The worst character, though he is of course real, was Adolf Hitler, as he was the cause of the trauma for the children had to face an awful man. A new thing I learned from this book, about WW2, is that for example some survivors that survived the horror of the concentration camps were moved to the UK, in Calgarth Estate, which acted as a safe haven for children.

The time setting of this book made it interesting because, I was always curious about what happened during both World Wars. The amazing plot of this book was mostly adventurous, because the story was concentrating on Yossi’s, Mordecai’s and Leo’s life combined. The thing that stands out the most for me is, how great Yossi’s, Mordecai’s and Leo’s friendship is. Honestly, I cannot think of any reason to why I should not like this book. I would definitely recommend this book to other students because of how magnificent it is.

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