The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe Review

June’s Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge prompt was read a book in translation. The Librarian of Auschwitz was originally written in Spanish so it fit the prompt. I have been wanting to read this for years. It was finally the perfect time.

Dita Kraus and her family were imprisoned at Auschwitz. Freddy Hirsch, a boy Dita knew from the Terezin ghetto, has started a secret school. He asked Dita to watch after the eight forbidden books that the school used. Dita was tasked with handing out books and most importantly hiding them whenever the guards were around.

Let me start by saying that this book is heartbreaking. It’s not an easy read at all. The writing is beautiful. You feel like you’re walking the barracks of Auschwitz with Dita, which is terrifying.

I loved reading about Dita’s story. She was so committed to making sure that the books were accessible. She risked her own life to make sure that the children got to read. I just wish there was more of her story. The author included multiple points of view and it just didn’t satisfy me. Instead of building the story it took away from it. Dita’s story was lost in the noise.

My favorite part of the story was the afterword. Dita was a real person and this story was based on her life. The afterword gave a clearer picture of what Dita and her friends were actually like. It was a necessary part of the story.

While I did not love The Librarian of Auschwitz as much as I wanted to I don’t regret my time reading it. Reading about the determination of a young girl in a horrible situation is so humbling. She actually risked her life for the love of literature.

My Rating: 3/5

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