The Devil's Arithmetic

By: Jane Yolen

The Devil's Arithmetic

Hannah Stern is a young Jewish girl living in the present day. She is bored by her relatives stories about the past, she is not looking forward to the Passover Seder, and is tired of her religion. When Hannah symbolically opens the door for the Elijah, she is transported back in time to 1942 Poland, during world war 2. At that time and place, the people believe she is Chaya Abramowicz, who is recovering from cholera, the fever that killed both of Chaya's parents a few months ago. The strange remarks Hannah/Chaya makes about the future and her ability to recognize her "aunt' Gitl AND "Uncle" Shmuel are blamed on the fever. At her "Uncle's" wedding, the Nazis come to transport the entire population og the village to a concentration camp near Donavin, and only Hannah knows all the terrors they will face: starvation, mistreatment, forced to labor, and finally execution. She struggles to survive at the camps, with the help of a girl named Rivka.



Uncle Shmuel and some other men try to escape; the men are caught and are shot in front of their inmates. Gitl and Hannah return to their barracks and Yitzchak escapes. Fayge, who was going to be married to Shmuel, is killed because she runs to Shmuel when he is about to be shot.Later, when Hannah, Rivka, Esther, and Shifre are working, a guard overhears them talking instead of working. Shifre tries to reassure the guard they have been working, but he takes them anyway and leaves Hannah by herself. As the three are about to leave, Hannah takes Rivka's place by putting on her head wrap. Since the guards don't know their faces, this goes unnoticed by the officer. The women are led to the gas chamber.



Hannah is seen among the dead, with an eleven year old boy they had care for in her arms. She is then transported back to her family's Seder. She asks for her aunt Eva and calls her Rivka. Eva asks that the room be cleared. While not convincing Eva that she was Chaya. She does reassure her aunt that what happened in the camps will always be remembered.

Three things I learned reading this book:

1.Hannah was brave enough to save her friend, so always be a great friend.

2.Hannah tried to protect them from the camps, Try your hardest to protect the ones you love.

3.She usually speaks her mind, To always try to speak your mind.

Who I think who would enjoy this book

I think if you need to find a holocaust book, pick this one. This is a great book for that