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May’s Book: The Devil’s Arithmetic

Picture from Shahak Shapira’s Yolocaust Project. You can find more here: https://yolocaust.de/ A novel that really stays with you.It’s been awhile since we’ve had a genocide pick for our PD Book Club, but for us, The Devil’s Arithmetic is so much more.

Published in 1988, Jane Yolen’s The Devil’s Arithmetic takes a young girl of today (one not quite as bad as those seeking selfies at Auschwitz, but close) that just doesn’t want to hear more about her family’s experiences during World War II. In short, she is tired of the weight of having to remember.

In a rough turn of fiction, after symbolically opening the door to the Prophet Elijah, she ends up transported back in time to 1942 Poland, where she is believed to be a different person of that era and is taken to a concentration camp.

As the world gets ever more flippant about the sanctity of life, and what it truly means to go to war and to be interned in a concentration camp, the 176 pages of The Devil’s Arithmetic will stick with you and despite the fact the book covers time travel, it will add a stunning backdrop of reality to the lackadaisical attitude of today.Picture from Shahak Shapira’s Yolocaust Project. You can find more here: https://yolocaust.de/

The Devil’s Arithmetic was also made into a movie in 1999, which though not as good as the book, is still worth the watch.

Pick up your copy of the book here or from our side margin, and be sure to let us know what you think down in the comments.

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People in this conversation

  • Guest (Carrie)

    I already saw that this would be the pick it being posted on the side and I was so excited!!!!!!!! TDA is one of the best books I've ever read. I cannot recommend it enough. My first read of this was back in elementary school (I've always liked to read), but this is one I reread ever year and each time it teaches me more. Great pick, PD!

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  • Guest (tulipchick7)

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Love this book! It is a holocaust read and by definition depressing but it is so good! At my school we had to read this back in 7th grade but like @Carrie I have read it so many times since then. I live for the ending!!!

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  • Guest (Coran)

    That Yolocaust stuff is creepy as hell.

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  • Guest (Wissler RZ)

    I never read this one but I do think it is deplorable how Ppl take selfies at holocaust memorials. It's disgusting.

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  • Guest (Chubb)

    Good book. Enjoyed it.

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