Prisoner B-3087

Prisoner B-3087

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545520713
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Sold by: Scholastic, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 37,244
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Alan Gratz is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for young readers, including Grenade; Refugee; Projekt 1065, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016; Prisoner B-3087, a Junior Library Guild selection that was named to YALSA's 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list; and Code of Honor, a YALSA 2016 Quick Pick. Alan lives in North Carolina with his wife and daughter. Look for him online at

Ruth Gruener was born Aurelia Gamser in 1930s Poland. Ruth and her parents survived the Holocaust by hiding in the homes of gentile families. After World War II was over, Ruth and her family moved to the United States, where Ruth tried to start an ordinary teenage life in Brooklyn. Ruth married Jack Gruener, another Holocaust survivor, with whom she lived in Brooklyn until Jack's passing in 2017. They have two children and four grandchildren. Ruth works as a docent at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in downtown Manhattan and travels all over the country to speak to schools about her and Jack's experiences in the Holocaust.

Read an Excerpt

From PRISONER B-3087

I looked out through the cracks of the crawlspace. Goeth was coming closer, all shining black leather boots and crisp black uniform. One of his dogs lifted its ears and looked right at me.
I pulled back away from the wall. “We're trapped. We have to get out of here. ” I was almost choking on my own fear.
“And go where?” Thomas hissed. “If we leave, they'll find us in the barrack!”
“I don't care. We can't be caught here.”
I pushed my way up and out of the crawlspace. I gasped, filling my lungs. But if I didn't really want to die , I had to move quickly. My heart was thumping. but I it made me feel alive, and feeling alive made me want to stay alive.

Customer Reviews

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Prisoner B-3087 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love learning about World War II, and this book was just the right one for me. It described all of the terrible things that the Nazis tortured the Jews with. I couldn't believe how badly they treated their own kind... like animals. Reading this book made me so grateful for what I have--especially my family. This book is about a teenage boy who's whole family gets transported away from the village and killed. He never sees any of them again. In this astonishingly true story, you will read about something you never would've thought happened only a few years ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This a great book for all ages. I just read it now and i loved it. F you want to learn about what it was like in a concentration camp or are looking for a good book to read this is the book for YOU! Worth reading.
librarysusie More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting story it is fiction but the author says at the end that it was inspired by the true events of one man’s life. I chose this book because of the description saying he had survived 10 different concentration camps which fascinated me; however there were times when the descriptions of these different camps left a lot to be desired the first camp we got more of a feel of what he went through. Then the salt mines was only 7 pages long and it never really says just how long he was there, it felt like this section was only there to tell you what happens to Judenrats. In Birkenau when Yanek is taken straight to the showers but only water comes out because the Nazi’s like playing games, I’m just not sure if this is something that really happened often? Also he says that he was in Birkenau for a couple months but this section is only about 20 pages. In Auschwitz when he is getting into the train station and sees the new prisoners still in their own clothes and carrying luggage, still believing that everything will be ok, this was a powerful visual of the prisoners who were dirty and skeletal and these new people thinking that would never be them. Once he is leaving Auschwitz to walk to the next camp, they are hearing more allied troops getting closer hoping they will come rescue you but seeing things just get worse and worse. Yanek was told by his Uncle Mosche to be invisible and to not show caring for anyone lest it be used against you Yanek held that belief throughout all the camps only going against it a couple times and it seemed that every time he went against it something awful happened. I also can’t help but wonder how those words followed him throughout his life after surviving the camps. I think this would have been an even more compelling book if the author had gone into more detail of each camp, as it is, it is one story from each camp, like that is the only thing that happened the whole time he was there. But I did learn new things I never realized they moved prisoners so often (or at least this book makes it seem like they do). Also this is a book for young people so maybe the shorter stories are better but I still wish there had been a little more to it. In the afterward we find out that Yanek now Jack survived, went to America and was drafted into the Korean War all I could think was wow hasn’t he been through enough you’d think he’d be exempt! Luckily he survived another war and went on to be married and have children and grandchildren and he and his wife speak about their experiences in the Holocaust , I will be doing some more research to find out more about Yanak/Jack. Recommend for middle grade readers. 3 ½ stars Full disclosure I received this book from netgalley and the publisher for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the most incredible book I have read recently. It was a difficult time for the jewish people and this book most definitly portrayed that. This man was full of courage and strength. God blessed him with life after this horrible event. Praise the Lord he was able to see happiness after all that struggle. Great book and would recommend to anyone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great story for all ages. Lots of action
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved thus book i read it last year if anyone is looking for a good book to read, read Prisoner B3087!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. And to think that it is a true storyis unbeleivable. The graphics you get in your head are unbeleivable. You can imagine being there with him. This is a wonderful book that inspires you and others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I read this, I truly fell in love with it! It was such a good book, and so interesting, oh my gosh! 5 stars from me, that's for sure!
jmchshannon More than 1 year ago
The Nazi atrocities towards anyone they believed to be their inferiors is something that students must continue to learn and study if we hope to avoid something similar in the future. Yet, it is such a tricky subject to approach when children are younger. The need to protect a child’s innocence wars with the need to inform. Often this can result in a story that only hints at what happened, forcing children to infer the truth, if possible, or leaving the tougher questions for their teachers and parents to answer. Alan Gratz’s Prisoner B-3087 is one of the few novels that fully informs but does so without scarring or scaring its young readers. Geared towards children through grade nine, Prisoner B-3087 is written in such a way that readers of all ages can appreciate Yanek’s story and learn varying lessons from it. For those older readers, including adults, the full horrors of Yanek’s experiences are difficult to believe and to stomach. Yet, for younger readers, they will be able to gloss over the more morbid details and focus on Yanek’s personal narrative about keeping his sense of identity and his will to survive. Each element of his story is important and vital for starting discussions, but it allows those discussions to be age-appropriate in a way few novels about the Holocaust are. This is not to say that Yanek’s narrative is not without its sense of the macabre. No story about the Holocaust can be without discussions of the gas chambers, the chimneys, the starvation, the cattle cars, the humiliation, and the sense of isolation that the Nazis utilized so well. Yanek witnesses and experiences things no one person should ever have to see in his or her life time, and he does not hide those experiences. Yet, as If to ease the emotional turmoil of his story, it is Yanek’s profound sense of identity and his all-encompassing drive to survive upon which a reader focuses his attention. It is this desire to live which leaves a reader filled with hope rather than despair. One grows up learning about the atrocities of various concentration camps – Birkenau, Bergin-Belsen, Dachau, Auschwitz, and too many more to name. The thought of someone surviving one of those locations is difficult to imagine, but to have survived living in ten different labor and death camps is unfathomable, which makes Yanek’s story so effective. If anyone has a complete understanding of the Nazi methodology and mindset, it would be someone who understood how to play their games and did so to survive almost unbeatable odds. Even though Mr. Gratz mentions that there is a fictional element behind his tale, Yanek’s story is still one of profound courage and strength of mind. The facts remain that Yanek Gruener survived not only the Krakow ghetto, he survived not one but two death marches, multiple journeys by overcrowded cattle car, labor camps, death camps, sadistic camp commandants, fellow prisoners, total starvation, and the mental and physical games the Nazis employed to further subjugate their prisoners. He not only survived but continues to share his story with others as a lesson in fortitude and human depravity. This is ultimately what makes Prisoner B-3087 so effective for readers of any age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much and this is coming from a kid
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greatest book I've ever read!!!
Anonymous 21 days ago
Very very very GOOOOOOOOOOD
Anonymous 29 days ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author really makes you fall in love with the characters and I couldn’t be sadder for the book to end!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like history then this is must read book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book ever Really good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author was very descriptive and would definitely recommend to anyone.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book of my life truly amazing but sad story. I don't think I could survive
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five stars