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Publisher's Note:

It’s 1939 in Poland, and Arab knows that standing up for anyone?especially her Jewish family?only paints a target on her back. So she plans to survive the Nazi occupation the way she always has: disguise herself as an Aryan boy, lead her street gang, and sell whatever she can steal. But though Arab starts the war with the one goal of staying alive, others have different ideas for her. When a stranger asks for her help with a covert rescue mission, Arab has to make a choice. Trying to be a hero is a surefire way to get killed. But if she doesn’t do it, who will? Hard-hitting and unforgettable, The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die is a story about survival, the necessity of resistance, and the hope that can be found when the world is at its darkest.…

The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die

by Randall Platt

Overall Book Review:

If you are expecting a gritty, in-your-face, fictional account of homeless children during World War II, you won’t be disappointed in The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die.  A fictionalized account of a Jewish girl who has been disowned from her family and spends her time leading a gang of street kids and surviving during a time when being a Jew and a girl made life especially treacherous.

Abra, or Arab as she is known on the streets, is tough.  She consistently dresses as a boy because it suits her needs.  She is Jewish by lineage, but practices no faith and doesn’t have any particular leanings to a religious preference.  Arab is the antithesis of Anne Frank.  Arab steals, lies, cheats, and even murders to survive the war and fulfill her need for vengeance against those she sees as evil. She is tough, brash, cold, calculating and even at times, a bit anti-Semitic.  However, she is incredibly believable in her role.  Abra is exactly what I would expect from a girl in her circumstances.  To have written her any other way would have done this novel a severe disservice.

As gritty and ugly as this book is, the end contains a redeeming story.  If you are looking for a good fictionalized account of resistance during World War II and the power of an individual to change the world The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die should be added to your reading list. 

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sky Pony Press

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  61 religious exclamations, 169 mild obscenities, 12 religious profanities, 7 derogatory names, 28 scatological words, 3 anatomical terms, 20 f-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  Girl kicks boy in groin; multiple depictions of women, men and children being shot, beaten, run-over (horses or vehicles), or stabbed both soldiers and non-soldiers with two multi-page instances with graphic blood and death; multiple secondhand accounts with minimal detail of shootings, murders, bombings and injuries; boys throw rocks at soldiers; girl hit with butt of gun leaving bloody wound; silver bridles stolen from horses with no animal injuries; buildings are bombed, burned and ransacked; numerous non-fatal injuries during deportation; Jewish manufacturer poisons soldiers; solider is pushed out fourth story window; numerous verbal threats including multiple instances of knives or guns being used in threat; child loses fingers when soldiers have child hold grenade; bloody, dead body found in snow; graphic detail multi-paragraph scene of teen slicing soldiers throat;  multiple instances of pushing, grabbing by arm, forceful movement with minimal or no injuries.

Sex/Nudity:  Innuendo regarding sexual exploits or sex multiple times; discussion regarding Jewish women becoming Nazi mistresses in exchange for goods/favor; dead men’s hands are poised on dead woman’s naked breasts; multiple references to homosexuality; man forcefully kisses and alludes to raping girl; discussion on the penalty for Jewish woman becoming pregnant (graphic).

Mature Subject Matter:

Social conflicts of race and religion, death, suicide, war, abandonment, homelessness, sex issues, ethics, robbery, murder, embezzlement, prostitution, and forgery.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Alcohol and cigarettes used widely throughout book by adults and teens.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am a full-time mom, full-time wife, and overtime reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as anyone can remember. It must run in the family because both my mother and grandmother are also voracious readers and often pass books back and forth. Almost any genre can spark my interest, but I often go in streaks, reading a bunch of books from one genre, then switching to another for a while and back again.