Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy

Book Cover:  Yellow Star by Jennifer RoyYellow Star by Jennifer Roy was another book that I couldn’t resist while at the library. It’s another holocaust book, I seem to be reading a lot of these lately. Why am I so drawn to the misery of others?

A Middle Grade Fiction book, Yellow Star tells the true story of Jennifer Roy’s aunt. From the prologue, an excerpt from an interview with Sylvia Perlmutter, March 2003.

In 1939, the Germans invaded the town of Lodz, Poland. They forced all of the Jewish people to live in a small part of the city called a ghetto. They buildt a barbed-wire fence around it and posted Nazi guards to keep everyone inside it.

Two hundred and seventy thousand people lived in the lodz ghetto.
In 1945, the war ended. The Germans surrendered and the ghetto was liberated. Out of more than a quarter of a million people, only about 800 walked out of the ghetto. Of those who survived, only twelve were children.

I was one of the twelve.

This was an amazing story! Everything surrounding the Holocaust and WWII is incredible in the fact that everybody who survived it has a story to tell. Sylvia spent six years of her young childhood (age four to ten) in the ghetto. She didn’t understand the things she saw or heard around her. It was only through the sheer cunningness of her father that she was able to survive, especially as all children were systematically taken emptied from the ghetto and taken to concentration camps where they were killed.

Told in beautiful free verse, Yellow Star was a quick read that lingers with you far after you’ve finished the last page. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Visit Jennifer Roy’s website here.

36 comments


  1. For a while there, I kept picking up Holocaust books, too! It’s like they crop up everywhere! I think reading goes in phases.

    on March 26th, 2008 at 9:38 pm
  2. It’s nice to see a Holocaust book that addresses what it was like in ghettos. Most of them seem to focus on the concentration camps, which I find so terribly depressing and horrifying it’s hard to read them. People in the ghettos suffered, too.

    on March 27th, 2008 at 8:13 am
  3. Tragedy is hard for me to read especially when it is written based on true life events. In my whole life I’ve only read “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “The Hiding Place”. I see these two books are in your bookstore so I guess I’ll have to get all three since the first two were read decades ago.

    I do admire the strength of the people who made it through the Holocaust. Their strength had to come from God because I don’t believe human beings can do it on their own.

    When I read these types of books it makes my little problems seem like nothing. They really put things into perspective.

    on March 27th, 2008 at 5:09 pm
  4. This sounds very interesting. If you ever want to change genres (LOL) and still read amazing true-stories, The Red Scarf Girl is a compelling story of a pre-teen girl living in communist China.

    on March 29th, 2008 at 5:03 am
  5. What a coincidence. I am reading a book about FDR and King George VI and the GErmans have just invaded Poland. I would imagine a middle grade book about the Holocaust would convey the horror and sadness of what these people endured without some of the graphic details. Sometimes those details become just too much to bear. Thanks for your review.

    on March 29th, 2008 at 8:09 am
  6. Yellow Star is pretty sad, although not graphically violent. Since it’s told from the perspective of a six/seven year old child, it only includes the horrible-enough details that such a young child would be able to take in and process.

    on March 29th, 2008 at 8:37 am
  7. Raych – The thing is I still have some of these books on my TBR, my streak isn’t over yet.

    Jeanne – It was interesting to see that the people in the ghettos truly had no idea what was going on in the outside world. It was through sheer cunningness that her father managed to not let the family get on the train, because nobody knew where they were going.

    Michelle – The Hiding Place is another book that I would like to read this year. I’ve just barely heard of it.

    Debd – The sad thing is that I’ve also read a lot of books about communist China, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and refugees fleeing Vietnam, etc. The Red Scarf sounds interesting, I shall have to take you up on your recommendation. I’ve always been partial to Asian literature.

    Framed – Yes, it doesn’t have graphic details but it spurs your imagination, because as the reader we still know what those details are.

    Sherry – I actually found your review on your blog (did I leave a comment?). Very sad book.

    on March 29th, 2008 at 10:16 am
  8. I’m really drawn to WWII books as well, although I’m reading A Long Way Gone right now and can’t believe the horrors there as well. It seems like most of the accounts I’ve read about Holocaust survivors are from adults (I’m sure I’m forgetting something). Probably an interesting perspective–how can a child understand such things??

    on April 2nd, 2008 at 6:34 am
  9. I started to read part of book for an english project, i have to research the author but I find it a little questionable as to why
    Sy(l)via chose to tell her niece instead of perhaps on her own. I admire her for telling her story, especially being only one of twelve kids to survive. She was TREMENDOUSLY lucky.

    on April 11th, 2008 at 9:58 am
  10. Trish – I have A Long Way Gone on my reading list, looking forward to it even admist all it’s hoopla.

    Cayla – Sylvia told her story in a series of interviews to her niece Jennifer Roy who asked if she could tell her story. Jennifer Roy was already a published author and writer therefore qualified to share her aunt’s story. I don’t think Sylvia had any interest in writing the story herself even if she wanted to. It was probably easier for her to share story orally anyways. It is an amazing little book.

    on April 11th, 2008 at 10:10 am
  11. I enjoyed this book while reading it, but it didn’t stick with me. I had to think hard while reading your review to remember any of it, and I still don’t recall much about it.

    on April 18th, 2008 at 10:50 am
  12. In school, I have just read this book. It took my three days. And i loved it!! It is sad though, but I just loved this book!

    on April 18th, 2008 at 5:27 pm
  13. Wow I’ve honestly never heard of this book and I’ve taken classes on this subject. Holocaust, WWII and hitler books fascinate me as well. Mind you I do not agree with him or anything that he did but just that part of history and personal accounts of it I find interesting.

    I’m definitely putting this on my tbr thanks so much

    on April 24th, 2008 at 6:58 am
  14. hey ms.roy i no we talked and took pictures to day i but i forgot to ask you somthing.what tips would you give to a future writer.

    on April 25th, 2008 at 11:01 am
  15. Sherry – I tend to forgot a lot of the books that I’ve read as well. Since I’ve started blogging though, I’ve been able to remember more and more.

    Cammie – That’s wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    Britany – I’m glad I’m not the only one who is drawn to this subject matter. I can’t seem to get enough of it. I like accounts of human struggle. Makes me feel like I’m learning something at the same time.

    Jasmine – It would be wonderful if Jennifer Roy stopped by here, but I don’t think she does. You can find her official website at http://www.jenniferroy.com.

    on April 26th, 2008 at 11:26 pm
  16. Hey Jennifer.. Im in 9th grade and my class just finished reading your book Yellow Star. Your book really helped me understand what it was really like during the Holocaust.

    Thanks

    on May 10th, 2008 at 10:22 am
  17. This book really should be required reading by every middle school. Having been the reciprient of anti semetic remarks while teaching, I would hope this book would call attention to what hate crimes are.

    on May 23rd, 2008 at 7:09 am
  18. I luved ur book it was so interesting, but i thought some of the parts were very sad, and made me even crie at some points.

    When Syvia heard the motorcycle from inside the flour house I was so excited to read about what was gonna happen next, and it was something that maade me feel happy about.

    For my middle shool book report that I’m doing,I’m gonna do it on your book!YEAH!YELLOW STAR

    on October 2nd, 2008 at 8:47 pm
  19. I love this book it is very educational on the holocaust n I think anyone who likes holocaust stories will love it!

    on December 1st, 2008 at 12:46 pm
  20. I didn’t read this book, but I want to so badly!!!! A good kids book about the holocaust is Number the Stars. Also, a good, PG movie about the holocaust is Miracle at Midnight. Both take place out side of concentation camps so they are both appriate.

    on December 13th, 2008 at 2:48 pm
  21. Murphy – I agree!

    Billy Bob – Thanks for the recommendation on Miracle at Midnight, I’ll look into it. I’ve read and reviewed Number the Stars here: http://blog.mawbooks.com/2008/04/27/number-the-stars-by-lois-lowry/

    on December 14th, 2008 at 9:21 pm
  22. im a 5th grader reading this book and i think its cool

    on February 6th, 2009 at 4:43 am
  23. its kinda okay but the fact that nazis put them in the ghetto.how mean!

    on February 6th, 2009 at 4:44 am
  24. I can’t find cliff notes on this book anywhere!!!!

    on February 17th, 2009 at 1:45 pm
  25. omg!!! this book was like so fabulously fabolous i mean i loved it!!!! keep up the good work.;)

    on February 19th, 2009 at 1:32 pm
  26. This book sucked butt i do not know how you guys liked it. Thanks for wasting my time. And the girl before me is stupid!

    on February 19th, 2009 at 1:36 pm
  27. all i can say is fab!

    on February 19th, 2009 at 1:36 pm
  28. This book is amazing. I mean it takes you back to the time of the Holocaust. Imagine what they went through. They had to fight for their lives! if you are saying this is stupid, what if that was you? what would you do to save you or your piers? All im getting at is that this is a learning book.

    Read it! Give it a try.
    Thanks :)

    on February 25th, 2009 at 3:35 pm
  29. This is a very good book i’ve read it many times and its the kind of book where you cant put it down!

    on March 24th, 2009 at 5:56 pm
  30. I’m glad that you are all enjoying the book (well- except for maybe Morgan – who shouldn’t call other people names).

    on March 24th, 2009 at 8:32 pm
  31. it’s my favorite book!!!! the only book i can read many times!

    on December 8th, 2009 at 9:58 am
  32. omg i love yellow star. my class is reading the book in reading class and i am sorry for the jews who actually went through that! =)

    on January 12th, 2010 at 5:12 pm
  33. I just finished yellow star today.I am in middle school and I thought this was a great book, I was scared at the beginning of it, I thought Dora or her ma or papa would be killed but I loved the ending.The other thing is that it is real,so thats really scary to think about but you relize how lucky you are that you didnt have to go through that.

    on February 23rd, 2010 at 5:08 pm
  34. I read this book through my tears, what a beautifull little girl and I am so sorry that she had to endure these things. This is a wonderful account of a little girl who survided the Ghettos in poland God allowed her to live to tell her story.

    on May 6th, 2011 at 11:26 pm
  35. I am so sorry for the atrocities that the Jewish people had to live through, this book helped to open my eyes, and I feel that all Americana should read this so that we never sit by and allow this to happen ever again. The Jewish people and the people of Israel need our love and support right now. May God bless them forever and allow them to live in peace, with love, joy , abundance and protection.

    on May 6th, 2011 at 11:35 pm
  36. herro

    on September 7th, 2011 at 3:16 am

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