Jakob and his family hide their Jewish identity in Nazi-occupied Hungary. Discovered, he is sent as a prisoner to Auschwitz where he keeps himself alive out of a desire for revenge on the friend he believes turned on him, only to discover when he is free that things are not as he thought.
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.
Kathy Clark has written two books for the Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers. Guardian Angel House is based on her mother and aunt’s lives as Jewish children hidden from the Nazis. The Choice is also inspired by her father’s experiences during the Holocaust. Kathy lives in Kanata Ontario and was raised by her mother and a loving stepfather. She learned of events described in The Choice as a grown-up when she became reacquainted with her dad.
“The book is well written for young readers … heartbreaking but full of hope and tolerance.” — Resource Links
“Clark makes wise narrative choices in presenting life at Auschwitz… The Choice is an excellent historical novel.” — CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“Deftly written for young readers… very highly recommended for both school and community library collections.” — The Midwest Book Review
“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.” — Edmonton Jewish News
“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.”
— VOYA Magazine