Recommended for readers age 12 or older.
Michael “Misha” Gruenbaum enjoyed a carefree childhood, playing games and taking walks through Prague with his beloved father. All of that changed forever when the Nazis invaded Prague. After a devastating loss, Michael and his mother and sister were forced into extremely restricted conditions in the Jewish Ghetto before being deported to the Terezin concentration camp. At Terezin, Misha roomed with forty other boys who became like brothers to him.
Life in Terezin was a bizarre, surreal balance—some days were filled with friendship and soccer matches, while others brought mortal terror as the boys waited to hear the names on each new list of who was being sent “to the East” on trains going to Auschwitz. When the day came that his family’s name appeared on a transport list, their survival called for a miracle—one that tied Michael’s fate to a carefully sewn teddy bear and to his mother’s unshakable determination to keep her children safe. Michael’s story, and the many original documents and photos included alongside it, offer an essential contribution to Holocaust literature.
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