Monday, May 02, 2011

Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz

Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri . Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz (Tangle Press, 2009)

E-ARC provided by NetGalley.

At age 10, Eva and her identical twin Miriam are separated from their family during a round up of Jews, and are sent to the infamous Dr. Mengele, where they are part of many of the horrific experiments that were performed on twins. The deprivations others in concentration camps lived through, such as lack of food, clothing and medical care, were made worse by having injections and other medical procedures performed on them.

Strengths: This is a well-written and straightforward account of an unusual aspect of the concentration camps. The size (141 pages) is perfect for the 8th graders who have a Holocaust unit, and the pictures and maps help give a sense of time and place. Will definitely buy this one.
Weaknesss: Reading this as an E-ARC made it difficult to get a feel for what the actual book will look like.

Small rant about eBooks:
Because I believe in being prepared, I panic from time to time about E-Books. I'm concerned that if we ever adopt them in our district (and there are rumblings that this might take place sooner rather than later), the Powers That Be will think "Hey, students can now just get everything they want off the Internet; we no longer need librarians."

Deep breaths. I tried, over the weekend, to check out books for my Nook from the Ohio eBook Project. As far as I can tell, Kindles are not compatible with the EPub or Adobe PDF formats offered through this organization. I downloaded some of both types and could not get either one to work on my Nook. I have PDFs from NetGalley, and the files look to be identical to the Ohio eBook ones, but they won't open. *Sigh* This may require a trip to Barnes and Noble.

Now, just imagine 625 students trying to get books downloaded to their eReaders, without the help of a librarian. And how are they going to choose what titles to read? 80% of what I do is to help students who come to the desk and sigh "I need a book."

Then there's the problem I encountered last week when I gave my Nook to a student to read a sample from The Emperor of Nihon-Ja. I stepped away long enough to help another student, and when I looked back, the student with the Nook had found the Sodoku game and was playing it.

I think that paper books are a good way to unplug children, and time away from electronics is something that they desperately need!


  1. I think no one really knows what we librarians do. Check out books? Well, yes, but that's the tinest part of our jobs.

  2. I agree with you on some of the problems with ereaders. But I do think it's nice to have a choice. There are many benefits as well. One being the ease to purchasing books - especially when one has to drive 90 minutes to get to a bookstore.
    I love my Kobo, it's even easier to read when I'm eating, to not have to hold open the page. But I won't stop reading paper books too.

    Love your blog. New follower. I've been scanning all your recommendations. Great stuff!

  3. As a public library, there's no way we could circulate enough nooks for all our thousands of patrons - and only a small number of them can afford (or want to) buy an ereader. We're circulating a kindle and soon a nook, but I think books, especially kids' books, will be around for a while! Also, as I mentioned before, I hate the Nook's "interactive" picture books. Argh. Why is a book not good enough to stand on its own? Why does it need to wiggle?

  4. Well said, Ms Yingling. Especially that bit about unplugging children with paper books. We all need time away from screens and gadgets.

    I used to be a complete technophobe (didn't even have a computer or cell phone until long after everyone else), but I'm beginning to see the virtues in having an e-reader. Just wouldn't want my kids using them exclusively.

  5. When I borrowed ebooks from the NYPL to read on my Nook, I have to download Adobe Digital Editions to my computer.
    Then I have to connect the Nook to the computer, open Digital Editions and make sure the Nook shows up as connected on the left hand side. Go to the library on the upper left hand corner, open the list of books there that you have downloaded and drag and drop each book to the Nook listed on the left side. I should indicate it is copying.
    It is worse than it sounds and Barnes & Noble are not very forthcoming about how to do this. After all, they want you to buy.
    I hope this helps, I know it can be frustrating.

  6. I couldn't agree more with your comment and all the others. Our 10-year-old loves our Nook but loves her paper books just as much.

  7. Alex-- this makes a lot of sense and I will try it at home. We are working on getting Overdrive to work at school, but Digital Editions won't download!