CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Carol Matas
New York, Scholastic, 1993.144pp, paper, $4.95
ISBN 0-590-46588-0. Distributed by Scholastic Canada. CIP

Grades 7 to 9/Ages 12 to 14

Reviewed by Anne Louise Mahoney.

Volume 21 Number 4
1993 September

Daniel is a fourteen-year-old Jewish boy living in Germany. The year is 1941. Although Daniel is a fictional character, this is a true story of what happened to many children who lived and died during the Holocaust.

When the story opens, Daniel and his family are on a train to Poland. Daniel, a photography buff, takes out his photo album and reminisces about life in Frankfurt, where he grew up: family celebrations, school, friends, his father's store. This life is over forever.

The rest of the book is woven together with other photographs: Daniel's first girlfriend, Rosa, a resistance worker; the death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Even when some of the photographs are lost or stolen, Daniel can still see them in his head, and he never forgets. His world has turned upside down, but he carries on, not knowing if his family or friends are alive or dead.

Daniel's Story is well written: the grim terror of Nazi oppression is balanced by happy memories and hope. Daniel is a likeable character, strong and committed to seeing truth and justice win out in the end. While the story ends on a bittersweet note, the reader does not leave the book thor­oughly depressed but rather inspired by the strength of the human spirit. This story has to be told and retold, so that we never forget the horror of the Holocaust. Use Daniel's Story in a history or English class, or offer it to teens to read on their own.

Highly recommended.

Anne Louise Mahoney is an Ottawa editor.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works