Kramer, Clara. 2009. CLARA’S WAR: ONE GIRL’S STORY OF SURVIVAL. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780061728600 [Suggested Grade Levels 9- 12]
CLARA’S WAR: ONE GIRL’S STORY OF SURVIVAL is a powerful and compelling Holocaust memoir. As a young teen, Clara and her family were forced into impossible conditions and forced to seek shelter underground in a bunker with several other Jewish families. Eighteen people living underground together were in a cramped space for twenty months. But together with some help from a few non-Jewish friends, the Becks, they were able to survive against all odds.
Clara’s narrative voice is vulnerable and straightforward. The truth alone, without embellishment, without drama, is enough to convey this emotional story. It is an incredible coming-of-age story all the more amazing because it is true.
Have readers choose a scene from the book to dramatize or perform.
Discuss how humanity is portrayed in the book. Was Clara fair to the others in her portrayal of them? What do you think of Mr. Beck? Was he a good man? Or a bad one?
Other nonfiction books about the Holocaust:
Bitton-Jackson, Livia. I HAVE LIVED A THOUSAND YEARS. ISBN 9780689823954
Frank, Anne. THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL. ISBN 9780553296983
Hillman, Laura. I WILL PLANT YOU A LILAC TREE. ISBN 9781416953661
Opdyke, Irene. IN MY HANDS. ISBN 9780553494112
Sender, Ruth Minsky. CAGE. ISBN 9780689813214
By Becky Laney