Review: I Will Protect You

I Will Protect You: A True Story of Twins Who Survived Auschwitz

by Eva Mozes Kor with Danica Davidson

Little, Brown & Company, 2022

Category: Middle Grade
Reviewer: Stacey Rattner

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I Will Protect You is the raw, tough true story of Romanian identical twins Eva and Miriam, told from young Eva’s point of view. “We were two girls against the Nazi regime,” she writes early on, vowing to make it through. The book is bitterly honest and descriptive and yet completely appropriate for middle grade readers. “The scariest stories Mama had told me before bed were nothing compared to the scary reality we were living in.” The late Eva Mozes Kor’s words told through Danica Davidson’s writing make it easy to share, remember and never forget this scary story.

At Auschwitz, Eva and Miriam are separated from the rest of their family and are selected to be subjects for Dr. Mengele’s twin experiments. Powerful Dr. Mengele, who invoked fear in the SS guards, was someone that Eva would not let win. And she didn’t.

When I finished, I had to sit back, wipe the tears from my eyes and exhale. This book is so important for Jews and non-Jews alike. It needs to be stocked and shared in every public (and Jewish) upper elementary and middle school library. It is only through the stories of the actual Holocaust survivors that we can know the unbelievable, but true, dreadfulness of the time. Yet, timeless books like this not only remind us of its horror but also teach young people and adults about hope, survival, respect and love.

There is no question that this honest memoir should be considered a strong contender for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. This book fits all criteria. It would be great to read aloud with young people, but it is also so well written and age appropriate that it can be checked out to be read silently. I look forward to purchasing it and sharing it widely with students and faculty.

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Reviewer Stacey “Leaping Librarian” Rattner is an elementary school librarian in upstate New York. In addition to leaping, she loves to run, travel, drink coffee, hang with family and of course, read. 40 years ago, Stacey met her BFF at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. Today, Stacey is also the co-host of the middle grade YouTube quiz show, Author Fan Face-off with author Steve Sheinkin.