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Children's Nonfiction Holocaust

Boy from Buchenwald

by (author) Robbie Waisman & Susan McClelland

Initial publish date
May 2021
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 11
  • Grade: 4 to 6


It was 1945 and Romek Wajsman had just been liberated from Buchenwald, a brutal concentration camp where more than 60,000 people were killed. He was starving, tortured, and had no idea where his family was—let alone if they were alive. Along with 472 other boys, including Elie Wiesel, these teens were dubbed “The Buchenwald Boys.” They were angry at the world for their abuse, and turned to violence: stealing, fighting, and struggling for power. Everything changed for Romek and the other boys when Albert Einstein and Rabbi Herschel Schacter brought them to a home for rehabilitation
Romek Wajsman, now Robbie Waisman, humanitarian and Canadian governor general award recipient, shares his remarkable story of transforming pain into resiliency and overcoming incredible loss to find incredible joy.
Finalist for the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction
Winner of the 2022 the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

About the authors

Robbie Waisman's profile page

Susan McClelland is an award-winning investigative journalist and author. Her writing has appeared in publications including the Globe and Mail, Maclean's, Canadian Living, Chatelaine and The Walrus. Her books include Bite of the Mango (Annick Press, 2008), The Last Maasai Warriors (Me to We, 2012) and The Tale of Two Nazanins (Harper Collins, 2012), and she has won two Amnesty International Media Awards for excellence in human rights reporting.

Susan McClelland's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Painfully lovely. . . . a vital, underaddressed aspect of survivor stories.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“This powerful, life-affirming memoir is essential reading.” —Booklist, starred review
“Waisman's resistance to--and eventual acceptance of--help and healing makes for a compelling story of recovery from extreme trauma.” —Publishers Weekly
" —The total disorientation and alone-ness of his newly liberated period provoke a chilling “What if it were me?” focus . . . . [A] moving personal narrative." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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