Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category

Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 224
Themes: Holocaust, courage, friendship, Jews, internment camps, Budapest
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: 01/Apr/2015
Bookmark and Share
Thirteen-year-old Jakob’s family has hidden their true identity as Jews and are living as Catholics in Budapest during WWII. One day, in a burst of loyalty, Jakob decides to reveal that he is Jewish, a choice that puts his whole family in danger. Jakob hopes his best friend Ivan, a Christian whose father is a high-ranking military official, will help his family, but he comes to believe that Ivan has abandoned them. Sent as a prisoner to Auschwitz, Jakob is kept alive by his passion for revenge against Ivan. When Jakob is finally freed, he discovers that Ivan too made a choice that day, a choice that changes everything Jakob thought was true.

Resource Links
The book is well written for young readers... heartbreaking but full of hope and tolerance.
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
Clark makes wise narrative choices in presenting life at Auschwitz... The Choice is an excellent historical novel.
The Midwest Book Review
Deftly written for young readers… very highly recommended for both school and community library collections.
Edmonton Jewish News
The Choice is recommended reading for young readers and it is good reading for adults too... [Kathy Clark] opens the door for all types of important conversations about history, consequence of actions, seeking revenge, the significance of religion, culture and values, thinking for yourself and taking responsibility for your own choices.
VOYA Magazine
Set in Budapest, The Choice provides a unique perspective to the Holocaust… Educators and librarians hoping to engage readers with historical fiction will want to add this novel to their shelves.
Historical Novels Review
The ending of the story brings both validation and realization of how the human spirit can triumph even under unfathomable atrocities, and how the choices we make in life can change everything.
Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews
The Choice clearly demonstrates the choices that a boy on the verge of manhood had to make during the Holocaust.... But the strength of the book lies in the emotional content, the relationship between Jakob and Ivan, and Jakob and Levi.
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin
This was an outstanding book for anyone interested in the Holocaust and a gripping narrative.
Canadian Teacher Magazine
... this well-written story should captivate many young minds. There are historical explanations offered, a map and photographs of key places are included, and the story is both exciting and believable.


Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award Canadian Library Association | 2016 | Short-listed
Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award  | 2017 | Long-listed

Resources for Teachers:

Orca Book Publishers produces a number of tools and resources to help teachers, librarians, reading specialists and other education professionals enrich the teaching and learning experience.

Please visit our Teacher Resources page to access and download materials.

Classroom Materials:

Free Teacher Guides

Digital Subscriptions

Resource Websites

Research and Support Materials:

Common Core

Reading Levels

You might also be interested in: