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4.8 out of 5 stars152
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 24 October 1998
As a grandad of 63, I thought I knew something about World War Two. Thanks to Anne Frank, I thought I knew quite a lot about the sufferings of the Jews but this amazing story by Mrs Appleman-Jurman has utterly convinced me of how little I know about the ghastly events of the first 11 years of my life. I read the book straight through at a single sitting and cannot find the words to express my admiration for its inspiringly brave author. I have told all my friends and relatives that they must read the book for themselves.I honestly believe it is the most moving account of survival under terrible conditions. As fellow human beings, we must never let anything like the sufferings of Alicia happen again, never, never, never.
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on 25 February 2007
The only reason I bought this book was because we both share the name Alicia; I was originally sceptical that I would find the book boring and tedious yet once I had started reading I found it impossible to stop!

Alicia enables you to catch a glimpse of life for a Jew in Nazi occupied Poland; she speaks of the prejudice from all sides, loss of loved ones, the struggle to find work and food, and her eventual journey from a life of hate to one of love. It is an extremely emotional book that had my crying at many points.

I am currently 16 (roughly the same age as Alicia for most of the book) and can truly admire the courage and loyalty she shows when faced with danger; I do not believe I could have acted in such an admirable way and am humbled.

As I read the book I realized that the tale was so drastic and horrific that, if it was a story I would have found it overdone and too dramatic; the fact that this is a true story with no exagerations (the only changes were to names)I find it hard to believe that life wa so cruel for people like Alicia.

I recommend this book to everyone! If you are interested in real life under the Nazis rather than just facts and figures then this is the book to read. If the topic does not interest you then I still recommend the book as I believe everyone should be aware of the horrors that come from blind belief in the wrong things.
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on 25 May 2006
Once I started reading this book I could not put it down, it is well written and also a real page turner. Alicias' story has stayed with me, and whilst reading this book I often was overcome with emotion - incredulous at how cruel people could be to one another. Some scenes of how SS men treated the families and young children were horrific, and worse was how they derived pleasure at doing truly inhumane things to innocent people. It was interesting to read about the general weakness and greed of many of the Polish and Ukraine collaberaters who even after the war, went on to murder some of the jewish survivors who returned to reclaim their old homes or businesses. Many times I found myself in tears for Alicias' plight andfor the millions of jews wiped out- she is a heroine and so brave. What struck me most that despite living through a hellish existence was how her heart did not turn black with hate, but the book overall has an incredible feeling of how love and courage can conquer, even as a child struggling to survive day by day she does not let the evil around her destroy her. An inspirational book and a reminder to us all and future generations -we should not forget-

Sonia
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on 23 February 2005
This is a truly remarkable book about a remarkable woman who went through the hell that was World War II, in eastern europe.
It took Alicia 3 years to write this book; about her life, and what seemed an endless struggle to just survive another day, during the Nazi occupation of Poland and surrounding countries.
A well written book, which I assure you, you will not put down until you turn the last page.
I just wish I had read this book sooner, it was first published in '89. And it begs the question why was I never taught about this at school in history. (i am 35).
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on 28 May 1999
It started out quite innocently, seeing someone else reading the book and growing interested in the cover. I always read books about World War 2 because they moved me so and I learned so much. In comparison to so much other history, it is a much more recent event. I then went to buy the book, after all it was on a book list for school. I didn't know that after I read this book my life wouldn't quite be the same.Alicia was an extremely brave girl who risked her life to help others, even when she did not realize it. For years before 1939 she lived a perfect life. She had friends, a loving family, a nice home... but then it was taken away from her. She nearly lost her life many times, but continued to survive. She worked for food in the fields of Poland, making up stories, and struggling to get just one piece of bread for her mother. Soon, she looses everyone and she has to cope with the loss and continue to live. So many times I had to put this book down because tears were streaming down my cheeks. After reading this I have decided to do something to help humanity and to be courageous in that way like Alicia was. She is my hero and probably always will be. I will read this book for years to come.
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on 5 April 2007
I am a huge reader of holocaust literature. There's something really inspiring in the way that people such as Alica survive the very worst of deprevations, and somehow manage to emerge out the other side not just as survivors but as trully remarkable human beings.

Alicia's story really is heart rending. How she didn't herself go under when she saw one member of her family after another lose their life we can only wonder at.

Although this work is biographical, it really has the feel of a novel to it, and so is a very fluent read. The only criticism I would make was that the end of the book was a little abrupt. I really felt I could have done with one final chapter on how Alica rebuilt her life in Israel and America.
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on 7 November 1998
I read this book as an assignment for my freshman English class. As it turned out, when the assignment was to read chapter 5, I had finished the book. I knew the holocaust was bad, but I never knew it was horrifying like Alicia tells it. If you haven't read this book, you won't know what you are missing, even if an aquaintance tells you the basic story. You won't know the truth of the matter. I thought my life was bad. Well, at that point in time, Alicia would have most likely given all she had to have a life like mine. I think my life is bad when I have do do the dishes. Well, she survived the worst massacre in all of history. I truly admire her confidence, and I wish that I could be that strong.
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on 21 May 2007
I haven't even finished reading this book, but felt I must let other people know how fantastic it is. An amazing true story of courage and hope and each page is more gripping than the last. This book has given me more of an insight into what happened to the Polish Jews than anything else I have seen or read. If you're interested in this period of history then buy this book now.
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on 7 April 1998
I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK! IT WAS SO SAD, AND THE ENTIRE TIME ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT WAS THAT THIS REALLY HAPPENED TO SOMEONE. AND NOT JUST ANYONE, A LITTLE GIRL. IT MADE ME FEEL SO SHELTERED FROM THE WORLD. THE WORST PROBLEM I'VE EVER HAD WAS NOT BEING ABLE TO GO OUT. AND I'M 16, ALICIA WAS ONLY 9 AND SHE WAS DEALING WITH PROBLEMS I CAN'T EVEN COME UP WITH. I SOMEWHAT FEEL GUILTY AND AS MY THANKS TO ALICIA I'M GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT MY GENERATION DOESN'T MAKE THE SAME FATAL MISTAKE AGAIN. ALICIA: I COULDN'T HELP READING THAT YOU LIVE IN CALIFORNIA, IT WOULD BE THE GREATEST HONOR TO HAVE YOU SPEAK TO MY CLASS. WE'VE ALL READ YOUR BOOK, AND AGREE IT'S THE BEST BOOK WE'VE READ. if interested e-mail me(UCLAgal@juno.com).
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on 7 December 2003
I have read many holocaust books and this one is the best I have ever read. I have re-read it over and over. It is truly amazing, exceptionally descriptive, the writer must have an excellent memory. It is very sad but a really "good" book to read.
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