In My Hands by Irene Opdyke

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"A touch to the heart"

Can you imagine living your life, doing your own thing, just like any other day... when suddenly, you lose everything you’ve ever cared about in an instant? And before you can even take it all in, the fate of ten lives were put into your hands? Because that is exactly what happened to Irene Gut, a young, Polish, girl who had been deported when Adolf Hitler declared war and took over her homeland. “In My Hands,” tells a story about Irene’s journey through life when she lost her family and home.

I really enjoyed how she wrote this book in first person perspective because it was easy to understand and it made me feel as if I was Irene herself. Her word choice was very vivid and it really made me escape the real world.

"There was a bird flushed up from the wheat fields, disappearing in a blur of wings against the sun, and then a gunshot and it fell to the earth. But it was not a bird. It was not a bird, and it was not in a wheat field, but you can't understand what it was yet."

This was my favorite quote from the whole book. The way that it’s written, the image that it brings to your mind...It really made me think twice on what it was like for the people who were trying to escape Hitler’s wrath. Once realizing that it wasn’t a bird, I honestly couldn’t sleep at night. This book really touched my heart because I know that I would never have had the courage that Irene had. She was determined and wanted to make a difference. She believed that if she could protect one Jew, she sure as hell could save nine more.

The audience for “In My Hands,” I think would be for teenage girls, or mainly just for girls. At one point in the story, Irene gets raped by German soldiers. It must’ve been very difficult for her to suffer through that during times that were so harsh. This book is a must read, I think that readers will really enjoy this, whether they are interested in learning about the Holocaust or not. It’s the first book I’ve read about the holocaust coming from the point of view of a Polish survivor, and it most definitely is one of my favorites.





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