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Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite
The Boy Behind The Door: How Salomon Kool Escaped the Nazis by David Tabatsky is inspired by a true story. Salomon Kool was celebrating his Bar Mitzvah with family and friends when they learned that Amsterdam had been invaded. The life they knew was slowly but surely changing. Each day, new rules were added that restricted the movements of Jews. Salomon’s father and siblings were taken away, and he never heard from them again. Only he and his mother remained. His mother sent him to his room to hide when the soldiers knocked on their door. He watched through the window as the soldiers took his mother as well. He was now alone and looking for shelter and a place to stay. With the help of a few courageous Christians, he was able to avoid the concentration camps and survived the war.
The Boy Behind The Door by David Tabatsky is a powerful story and the writing style holds your attention throughout. He tells Salomon's story as if it is his own and brings Salomon’s loneliness and fears to life. I could not help but hold my breath with Salomon when the soldiers approached. The characters were well-developed, and the interaction between them was always overshadowed by fear. Many of the situations are based on real-life experiences. It is sobering to learn about the horrors that the survivors endured. This story is both moving and frightening. It offers a different perspective on the lives of those who suffered the Nazi occupation of their country during World War II.