Within These Walls, by Robyn Bavati

There had been cellars like this in the ghetto; almost all the buildings in Warsaw had them. I’d hidden in them often – to avoid the roundups and escape deportation – but never for days on end, and never alone.
I didn’t know how long I’d have to stay there. Or how long I could survive on a daily potato and a little water.

Miri’s life in Warsaw is simple but happy. She has loving family, and loves family holidays, and evenings when her father comes home from work and they are all together. But when the Germans invade Poland and reach Warsaw, life changes. First there are rules: Jews cannot be educated, Jews must not work, and, finally, all Jews must move to the ghetto.Life in the ghetto is a struggle, and, one by one, Miri sees her family either disappear or die. Finally, alone, she has a chance to survive when she is smuggled out of the ghetto.

Based on true events, Within These Walls is a wrenching story of survival amidst the horrors of the Holocaust. Miri is eight years old at the start of the book and has a child-like view of the world, which changes as she ages and in line with the terrible things she experiences. The use of such a first person narrator makes the story very real. Miri’s character is, in part, based on the specific experiences of one child, and all events are based on things which really happened.

Part of the My Holcaust Story series, Within These Walls makes this disturbing part of history accessible to children.

Within These Walls , by Robyn Bavati
Scholastic, 2016
ISBN 9781760152857