Review: Prisoner B-3087

May •  6 •  2013
Review: Prisoner B-3087Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz
Series: Stand Alone
Published by Scholastic on March 1, 2013
Genres: Young Adult-Historical
Buy on Amazon

Survive. At any cost.

10 concentration camps.

10 different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly.

It's something no one could imagine surviving.

But it is what Yanek Gruener has to face.

As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the mercy of the Nazis who have taken over. Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have been snatched brutally from him. And then Yanek himself is taken prisoner -- his arm tattooed with the words PRISONER B-3087.

He is forced from one nightmarish concentration camp to another, as World War II rages all around him. He encounters evil he could have never imagined, but also sees surprising glimpses of hope amid the horror. He just barely escapes death, only to confront it again seconds later.

Can Yanek make it through the terror without losing his hope, his will -- and, most of all, his sense of who he really is inside?

Based on an astonishing true story.

I want to be honest when saying that History is not one of my all-time favorite subjects. However, whenever reading, listening, or talking about the time when one man, Hitler, changed the world my heart stops. The pain, misery, sadness, horrific lives the prisoners of the Holocaust went through is something no one can ever begin to imagine what it must have been like. Prisoner B-3087 is a book that stopped my heart starting with the first page.

I find myself becoming really emotional whenever reading stories like these because I feel like what was the United States doing and how we could have prevented so many deaths but we stood back. With this story, I know that I have heard countless stories of the same things happening. Little food, people dying, tight quarters, gas chambers, switching camps but I think that with every person there is one thing that is always different. For this book, I felt like I was listening to someone story about their time spent in a concentration camp for the first time. Everything I heard in the past, paused and all I could hear was the voice of the book.

Yanek is an inspiring character who a person to look towards as having perseverance, willingness, and a heart bigger than most people. Losing his family, is one of the hardest things that could have happened. He struggles to keep fighting and not giving up hope throughout the book and the strength we see in him makes him a stronger person in the end and keeps pushing him to push past the torture, the feeling of giving up, and just making it through.

Alan Gratz writes a compelling story that is sure to capture the hearts of whoever takes a dive into these pages. Giving the reader a new perspective on life and how grateful one should be for what they have, Prisoner B-3087 is a novel that should not be passed by.

I give it 4 bites!




  1. I do like these kinds of stories even though they are so emotional and harrowing for me. You have put this on my radar!!

  2. Candace
    May 7, 2013

    Books like this are so emotional for me that I hesitate to pick them up. I become so immersed in it all and just FEEL so much that life goes on around me without me being aware because I’m stuck in the past.
    I hadn’t heard of this one, but I think I would find it fascinating and very emotional. I’ll have to watch for it in the future.