Escaping into the Night

by D. Dina Friedman

Hardcover, 2006




Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2006), 208 pages


Thirteen-year-old Halina Rudowski narrowly escapes the Polish ghetto and flees to the forest, where she is taken in by an encampment of Jews trying to survive World War II.


(17 ratings; 3.5)

User reviews

LibraryThing member STBA
When her mother and others do not come back from work, Halina is forced to deal with her absence and escape from the ghetto to save her own life. She joins the partisans in the woods, and survives World War II by using her wits and inner strength.
LibraryThing member Zachor
Halina Rudowski lives in the ghetto with her mother. They share their cramped quarters with a religious family. When her mother and others do not come back from work, Halina is forced to deal with her absence and escape from the ghetto to save her own life. Her mother’s boyfriend helps Halina and
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several other ghetto residents escape through tunnels from the ghetto through to sewer pipes that lead to the countryside. They hide during the day and walk during the night, eventually meeting up with a large partisan group that lives in the woods. Halina and her friends grow closer as they face danger and the elements. When they need to escape from the advancing German army, Halina summons all her strength, carries her injured friend, and eventually joins the rests of the partisans with the Russian army.

Ms. Friedman based this work of historical fiction on accounts of the Bielski partisans, who hid in the forests of Belorussia during World War II. The book captures many aspects of the Holocaust quite well: the separation of family and their not knowing what happened to each other; the questioning of faith in God after enduring tragedy and atrocities; and living under the constant threat of danger. Halina is a young girl who must grow up quickly, and her longing for her mother, her cat, and to be able to sing out loudly add dimension to this likable character. Batya is a religious girl, and when she is forced to eat bacon in order to survive, the reader gets an example of the cruelty of the Nazis and the lengths to which they went to make the Jews suffer. While there are graphic description of shootings and violence, the focus of the story is Halina’s and her friends’ survival. The action proceeds at a quick pace, and the descriptions of the hideouts and the forests give a convincing sense of place. This novel illustrates yet another dimension of survival during the Holocaust, and it is appropriate for all libraries.
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LibraryThing member MrsHillReads
Interesting Holocaust story about an aspect that I'd never heard before. Good historical fiction.


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1416902589 / 9781416902584
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