Middle School / Books Rule!
Recommended books for grades 5-8

PAPER HEARTS, by Meg Wiviott

paper hearts

The story: Two girls, Fania and Zlatka, meet and become best friends in the most unlikely place–the Birkenau section of Auschwitz. The two years they spend there will cost them their families, their health, possibly even their sanity–and their friendship is the only thing that keeps them holding on. How can Zlatka help Fani celebrate a birthday when it seems there’s nothing to give? Discover the true story of the Heart of Auschwitz in this novel in verse.

Mrs. Friend’s opinion: Zlatka and Fania both know their families probably won’t make it through the war, so they’re determined survive in order to keep their memories alive. What they don’t expect is a friendship (between the two of them, and a number of other girls in their cell block) that goes beyond the war and lasts the rest of their lives. Yes, Auschwitz was a dreadful place during a dreadful time, but Wiviott’s portrayal of a friendship rises above the dismal to pull the reader in and suggest hope even when times are terrible.


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