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The Devil's Arithmetic by: Jane Yolen
Transcript of The Devil's Arithmetic by: Jane Yolen
Hannah opened the door
But she didn't know there
Was a surprise in store.
She went back in time
In a Polish village
Where she met her doom.
Chaya was forced into
A concentrtion camp
On which Jews
The soldiers would tramp.
To save Rivka,
Chaya took her place
In which Lilith's Cave
The group they would encase. Hannah Stern is a 13 year old Jewish girl who lives in New Rochelle, has braces, brown hair, a heart shaped face, a slightly crooked smile, and gray eyes. She feels that remembering The Holocaust is pointless. When she becomes Chaya Abramowicz, a 13 year old girl who lives in a Polish village in 1942, she looks almost exactly like Hannah, except Chaya doesn't have braces. Chaya has small memories of her life as Hannah that fade away eventually. The saddest part in the book is when Rueven is found and sent to die, for Hannah feels that it is her fault. Rueven was still and speechless while the Commandant drove up and got out. The Commandant picked up Rueven and put him in the car to be sent to die. The line at the end of chapter 8,"They made a perfect half circle in front of the synagogue doors, like a steel trap with gaping jaws ready to be sprung." is important to me. I feel like this is important because it starts the horror of the book. This line also leaves the reader in suspense, wondering what will happen. The author captured the scene using "...like a steel trap with gaping jaws ready to be sprung." The following are ten important events in chronological order which were important to understanding the plot. 1. Hannah goes to her family's Passover Seder instead of having a fun Easter with her friend. 2. Hannah is transported back to a Polish village in 1942 where she is Chaya. 3. At Shmuel and Fayge's wedding, the Nazis capture the partiers in front of the synagogue. 4. After a long drive, the wedding attenders were forced into cattle cars for a dark and gloomy ride. 5. After hours in the cars, people have already passed away and the crowd is ordered to go through procedure. (Undressing, shaving off their hair, dressing into rags, and being tatooed with their numbers.) 6. Chaya meets Rivka who explains how to stay alive in the camp by letting go of the past. 7. While trying to escape, Gitl's plan is spoiled which gets Fayge, Shmuel, and many others killed in a choosing. 8. Rivka, Esther, and Shifre are caught not working and are chosen to be burned. 9. Hannah takes Rivka's place and is thrown to the smokestack to save Rivka's life. 10. Hannah is transported back to her Seder where she discusses with Aunt Eva about what happened in the concentration camp. Opening her eyes, she was expecting to see what all she had lost, and there to prove it was Rivka, at least an older, more mature version of her. "Hannah," she called "Hannah, we were worried that we lost you." Wait, how does she know my real name, and what does she mean by "we"? "When you opened the door for Elijah, you mumbled something about 'You brought this madness on yourself ' and then blacked out." "Aunt Eva?" "Yes darling?" "Oh Aunt Eva, you're back!" "What do you mean you are back, you were only out for 5 minutes." "Believe me, it was a pretty long and hard 5 minutes." "Come on, lets get you some rest." As they went to lay down, Hannah whispered, "Good night Rivka." "Good night Chaya." I believe this is a great story filled with suspense The author creates a great story with facts about The Holocaust. It will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way through. I would recommend this book friends for it has historical facts entertwined with the amazing story of Hannah. It is a book for the researcher and the story-lover. I would say that this book is good for anyone interested in facts but wants a great story. Rivka is another character in the book. She is a 10 year old Jew who has been in the concentration camp for a while. She has the complexion of an old lady the way that she smiles. I liked Rivka because she was easy to befriend. She always had what was needed and she knew how to survive. Rivka never gave up. She strived to stay alive in the camp.