Kid’s Book Review: Signs of Survival

Kid’s Book Review: Signs of Survival

About the Book and Author

This gripping memoir about two sisters who survived the horror of the Holocaust is told in a vivid ‘oral history’ format by Joshua M. Green.

Heartfelt, historical, hostile but constantly hopeful, Renee and Herta are rapidly losing freedom as the evil Nazis encroach upon them and their home-during World War Two – 1943. Parents deaf and sister too, Renee is forced to have eyes of a hawk and ears of an owl as she is on constant look-out. Fighting the urge to give up homeschooling and wonder the darkening backstreets of Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, all she wants to do is to be free. The only thing in her way is the bright, yellow star sewn to her coat.

One day, when Renee and Herta are told, they are moving to a friends just outside of Bratislava to finally find a sort of refuge, they are not exactly exited. But it comes with a cost, quite literally. When their parents are mysteriously abducted and don’t pay, Renee and Herta are chucked out!

With no where to go and danger rising, they turn themselves into the police getting taken away, to what we know today as a concentration camp. Unable to withstand the blood curdling, stomach wrenching conditions, the sister’s hope is beginning to dwindle…


Renee Hartman was born in Bratislava, which is now the capital of Slovakia. She and her sister were arrested by the Nazis and imprisoned in Bergen-Belsen, where they endured horrifying conditions, and where Renee nearly succumbed to typhus. After being liberated, Renee and her sister immigrated to the United States. Ever since, Renee has been writing about her experiences in the Holocaust. She lives in Connecticut.

Joshua M Green is a popular lecturer on Holocaust history and the spiritual quest, and a brilliant, entertaining communicator. A former instructor at Hofstra and Fordham Universities, Greene is recipient of numerous awards for his historical biographies and documentary films. Read what he wr0te on about writing Signs of Survival with Renee Hartman.

Book Review

Poignant, propelling and personal, every generation, race and culture need to read but most importantly understand this book

This is such a meaningful book; the real-life experiences have been put on paper in such a powerful way. After I finished this book my perspective of a lot of things have changed, particularly my vision of humanity.
Poignant, propelling and personal, every generation, race and culture need to read but most importantly understand this book.

The very real life story teleports you to the time and moment of every movement, expressing the gracious and sometimes gruesome truth.
I have been moved as I’m sure everyone will be once they have read this, I have now been persuaded to read more Holocaust books.

Thank you, and wishing Renee a happy, peaceful rest of her life, as for Herta Rest In Peace.


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Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Piper
  • Age: 12 years
  • Likes: Animals, swimming and travel
  • Dislikes: Horror movies and pickled gherkins
  • Favourite Book: Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman
  • Favourite Song: Gold Rush Kid by George Ezra
  • Favourite Film: The Hunger Games