Cover image for Escape to the forest : based on a true story of the Holocaust
Escape to the forest : based on a true story of the Holocaust
Radin, Ruth Y.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, [2000]

Physical Description:
90 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
A young Jewish girl living with her family in the town of Lida at the beginning of World War II recalls the horrors of life under first the Russians then the Nazis, before fleeing to join Tuvia Bielski, a partisan who tried to save as many Jews as possible. Based on a true story.
Reading Level:
660 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.4 2.0 36041.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.3 5 Quiz: 23946.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



When the Nazis invade Poland, nothing is safe anymore.

Ten-year-old Sarah and her family must leave their home and live in a Jewish ghetto surrounded by barbed wire. There, life is a nightmare of cold and hunger where Nazi soldiers kill Jews at will. But Sarah still hears stories that give her hope--stories about a man who lives in the nearby forest, fighting the Nazis and sheltering the Jews.

Sarah's brother thinks they should try to escape to the forest. Her parents think they will be safer where they are. Sarah doesn't know who is right. But as life in the ghetto grows worse and worse, the forest may be their only hope.

Based on a true story of life during the Holocaust, this is a heartrending novel of one family's struggle to survive.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A fascinating, little-known chapter of Jewish resistance and survival during the Holocaust is the basis for this novel, but Radin's (All Joseph Wanted) disappointing fictional treatment leaves the most interesting part of the real-life story largely off the page. In 1943, a Polish Jew named Tuvia Bielski established a partisan camp, or otriad, in the forests outside Lida, Poland. The camp eventually encompassed more than 1,200 Jews, who were evacuated by the Russians in 1944. Radin's heroine, who is eight years old when the novel opens in 1939, reaches the otriad just as the book closes, and the information about the otriad is relegated to an endnote. The focus instead is on material covered better elsewhereÄthe persecution of Polish Jews by first the Russians and then the Germans. Without prior knowledge of the complicated historical background, it may be difficult for young readers to understand the action. The characterizations and scene-setting approach the formulaic, while dialogue referring to the activities of Bielski and his brothers seems tipped in. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 9-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-This book follows Sarah's life from 1939-1943 as she goes from living in fear of the Russians to being forced into a ghetto by the Nazis to escaping the roundup of the Jews. Ultimately, she ends up in a town-sized hideout in the woods built by brothers who rescued Jews and fought guerrilla warfare against the Nazis. The story is compelling, and Sarah's experiences are clearly depicted. However, the narrative jumps around, sometimes completely without transition, and occasionally delivers horrific statements rather harshly. The story is told in first person and, at times, Radin's adult voice drowns out Sarah's childlike one. Despite these caveats, the author tells the powerful story of Jews not only fighting back, but also helping one another escape, and surviving by their own wits in the woods. The occasional illustrations are more symbol than picture: a broken window, a menorah, a stitched Star of David.-Amy Lilien-Harper, Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.