Mara's Stories

By: Gary Schmidt

It all started when the light faded in their lives, Mara however still glows in the dark cold camp. The children gathered each night to hear Mara's stories filled with hope, tears, laughter, and the ones they miss the most. The mothers and children all listen as the stories fill them and bring some hope to the dark and torturous barracks. As if the time seems suddenly frozen they listen to 23 stories that Mara has woven together with love, hope, courage, and real events all into stories whom never should have been told in such a miserable place, only in their safe homes they once had. With Mara's stories their only grip left, it leaves them with two things, love and light. Mara never was a shadow, she was the light that shone that kept the children and mothers hope alive in a time in need. Mara's stories tell us about a time that was once dark, but should never be lost.

The theme of this book is love because Mara's stories were all filled with love and she never stopped giving it to the mothers and children. I think the reason the author put this message in the book was because you can't survive with out love. In the book there where many stories of love and how they stuck together no matter what happened to them. I also think that in the story's the author also showed how love can keep people looking forward because the love Mara gave to people kept them going each day. Love is what the book was made of because with the author and Mara it keeps love in the children's heart.

Auschwitz was the largest concentration camp that was by the Nazis, a stunning 25 square miles. Built in 1940 Auschwitz was added on to, part one (original camp), part two (Birkenau which had gas chambers), part three(a chemical plant) and smaller satellite camps. Many when they entered the camp in 1942 had been sent straight to the gas chambers. How ever they didn't know that's what it was because it's was disguised as showers. Also when they were entered into the camp they were forced to give up absolutely everything they had and shaven. Then they were given a registration form and then given a tattoo of their serial number on their fore arm and given a symbol here's their meanings:

Red Triangle – Political

Green Triangle – Professional Criminals

Black Triangle – Asocial

Purple Triangle – Catholic Clergy

Pink Triangle – Homosexual

Yellow Star – Jewish

Violet Triangle – Jehovah Witnesses

Unfortunately they were treated unfairly and told work would set them free but if the exhaustion didn't kill them it was the gas chambers.

I think the author did a really good job on the book. Research is accurate on the book and I think that it's really cool how he put it into a Jews perspective and yet made it accurate and still interesting. The only Thing I would of done differently is I would of talked slightly more about Mara. Also what I find interesting was what Mara said in the books is what was true. After 30 days they had selected people to get rid of, also know as "selection day". That's where he decided to end the story of Mara.


" Auschwitz. Funtrivia. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <>.