The illuminating and deeply moving true story of twin sisters who survived Nazi experimentation, against all odds, during the Holocaust.
Eva and her identical twin sister, Miriam, had a mostly happy childhood. Theirs was the only Jewish family in their small village in the Transylvanian mountains, but they didn't think much of it until antisemitism reared its ugly head in their school. Then, in 1944, ten-year-old Eva and her family were deported to Auschwitz. At its gates, Eva and Miriam were separated from their parents and other siblings, selected as subjects for Dr. Mengele's infamous medical experiments.
During the course of the war, Mengele would experiment on 3,000 twins. Only 160 would survive–including Eva and Miriam.
With her friend Danica Davidson, Eva reveals how two young girls were able to survive the unimaginable cruelty of the Nazi regime, while also eventually finding healing and the capacity to forgive. Spare and poignant, I Will Protect You is a vital memoir of survival, loss, and forgiveness.
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“Few Holocaust survivors have had Eva Mozes Kor’s impact. Together with Danica Davidson, the story of this young girl is narrated in a manner that I would not have thought possible, faithful to the history and yet accessible to young readers. Read this work and meet a person you will never forget with a story that is worth telling and retelling.” –Michael Berenbaum, award-winning author; former Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Holocaust Research Institute
"I Will Protect You is a well-written memoir, a gripping story of prejudice, hatred, horror and forgiveness. It belongs on every shelf of books for young readers on the Nazi Holocaust and of books attacking racism. " -- David A. Adler, author of The Number On My Grandfather's Arm, We Remember The Holocaust and many other books
"How can we best teach our children about the world? This extraordinary story of a Holocaust survivor (one of the infamous Mengele twins), shows both the astounding history that lay the groundwork for the rise and fall of Nazi Germany, as well as being a deeply personal (and page-turning) story of one very brave and determined young Jewish girl caught in its midst. What better way to ensure that our children really are protected from something like this ever happening again—we can protect them with knowledge, understanding, determination, and hope." -- Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of With or Without You
“I Will Protect You is one of the best Holocaust memoirs I have ever read (and I have read many). The fact that twin sisters Eva and Miriam survived Dr. Mengele’s cruel and barbaric experiments is nothing short of miraculous. Eva’s fierce determination to live and to ensure her sister’s survival moved me deeply. Her strength, courage, resourcefulness, and intelligence are profound. This book illuminates the human spirit and proves that even in the very worst circumstances, kindness can be found. I am a better person for having read this book.” — Lesléa Newman, author Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story
“This riveting eyewitness account of the Nazi horrors, written in a way that a sympathetic young reader can understand, is needed now more than ever, in our present age of growing violence, intolerance and irrational hatred of the Other.” -- David Small, #1 New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist of Stitches
"Danica Davidson has taken Eva Mozes Kor’s story and woven it into a straightforward yet harrowing account of astonishing courage in the face of unspeakable depravity. An important and powerful contribution to the field of Holocaust literature for children." -- Yona Zeldis McDonough, author of The Bicycle Spy and The Doll with the Yellow Star.
“The Holocaust seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl and her twin sister. Harrowing but ultimately redemptive, I Will Protect You is a story of irrational hope and courage.” - Mark V Long, New York Times bestselling author The Silence of Our Friends
"An illuminating look at the horrors of medical experimentation during the Holocaust. This emotional and captivating story of loss and hope is perfect for a younger audience that wishes to learn about the realities faced by twin children in concentration camps.” -- Andrew Aydin, New York Times bestselling co-author of March with John Lewis
"Highly recommended" -- A Mighty Girl
"'Your mind is like a garden. Plant flowers so weeds can’t grow,' read the embroidered message in the childhood kitchen of identical twins Eva and Miriam Mozes. Even after the Mozes family was imprisoned in Auschwitz, forced to leave the embroidery and most of their other possessions behind, fierce and determined Eva carried this piece of her mama’s wisdom with her. Through the horrifying tribulations of the Holocaust, she held on to her desire for life and the strength of her love for her family, refusing to let the weeds of despair take root in her mind. Although unflinching in its treatment of the disturbing realities of the period, this work also emphasizes humanity’s prevailing capacity for goodness and hope in the face of cruelty. Davidson, who worked with Kor to get her story down in print as well as doing additional research, situates Kor’s life within a broader historical scope, detailing the social and political contexts that allowed the Nazi Party to gain power. Readers will be left not only with an understanding of the events of the Holocaust, but with insight into the long history of antisemitism and the dangers of dehumanizing language, propaganda, and unquestioning nationalism. Bright and compelling, Eva invites young readers to plant flowers of knowledge, love, and acceptance in their own minds.
Moving and informative; a powerful resource for Holocaust education." -- Kirkus Reviews
"In a powerful telling, the late Eva Mozes Kor (1934–2019) and Davidson provide as much history lesson as personal recollection and call for human rights. The book opens in 1941, as seven-year-old Eva and her identical twin Miriam (d. 1993), members of the only Jewish family in a Romanian village, encounter anti-Jewish ideas in media as well as experience cruelty from previously friendly classmates. Eva’s nature as a leader willing to speak her mind is quickly established as she presses her resigned parents: “It’s not safe to stay here.” Following the family’s deportation to Auschwitz, where she and Miriam become part of Josef Mengele’s experimentations on identical twins, the girls’ horrific experiences—intense reading for the target audience—are interspersed with contextualizing background on topics such as anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories and propaganda, genocide, and WWII. Eva’s “unending desire for survival,” her vow to protect Miriam, and “luck” bring the sisters through the war and to Israel in 1950; final chapters trace Eva’s subsequent years as a human rights activist and Holocaust educator in Indiana. Unflinching in its first-person telling, the narrative is carried by its narrator’s passionate conviction, per an afterword, that “memories will provide the necessary fuel to light the way to hope.” -- Publishers Weekly
"In 1944 10-year-old identical twins Eva and Miriam, along with their Jewish family, were taken by cattle car to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. There the two girls were separated from their family by the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele, who was fascinated by twins and wished to conduct experiments on them. Indeed, one of those experiments left Eva deathly ill. Taken to the camp hospital to die, she managed to survive despite the monstrous Mengele’s laughing assertion that she had only two weeks to live. Her survival was due in large part to her stubborn, indomitable will, even though, as she states, “We twins were his property now.” Her reports of life in the camp are sobering and compelling, and after Auschwitz’s liberation, Kor charts the subsequent years of her life, including an adulthood dedicated to sharing her story. An afterword by Davidson adds a modern perspective on the Holocaust and antisemitism in the U.S., as well as insight into her collaborative writing process with Kor, who died in 2019. A compelling story of survival." - Booklist
"Davidson interviewed Eva, and Eva's clear voice provides an edifying lesson most welcome among Holocaust narratives. Davidson relates young Eva's experiences at Auschwitz with pragmatic and accessible prose that neither shies away from nor sensationalizes the horrors she suffered... A powerful testimony to survival and forgiveness, Eva's story should find quick purchase among collections of witness literature." -- Shelf Awareness
" 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." -- Sydney Taylor Schmooze Blog
"This book for middle grade readers is a powerful and chilling firsthand account of survival from the brutal Auschwitz concentration camp during WWII...While there are many adult books written by Holocaust survivors, few are written for children... Spare and well written, this book should be part of every classroom discussion about the Holocaust." -- Darlene Beck-Jacobson, author of Wishes, Dares & How to Stand Up to a Bully
"This is an important book that deserves wide readership and should be in every middle-grade classroom and library. The writing is quite wonderful and the story is incredibly compelling." -- Rosi Hollinbeck, book blogger
ABC 7 (Los Angeles) -- "Author Pens New Children's Book to Teach Kids About Antisemitism and the Holocaust"
Yahoo Entertainment -- "Sturgis author Danica Davidson to sign copies of 'I Will Protect You'"
Publishers Weekly -- "Authors Bring Holocaust Story to Young Readers"
WMUK (NPR) --"Art Beat: Surviving Auschwitz"
WGVU Morning Show (NPR) -- "I Will Protect You"
WISH-TV (CW) --"Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor’s story educates children"
WILX (NBC) -- "Recognizing Holocaust Remembrance Day"
Teen Librarian Toolbox -- "How I WILL PROTECT YOU Fills a Gap in Holocaust Education"
Pragmatic Mom -- "Children's Nonfiction Holocaust Books for Holocaust Remembrance Day"
Tablet -- "A Survivor's Forgiveness"
Reading With Your Kids -- "A True Story of Twins Who Survived Auschwitz"
Lilith -- "Surviving Mengele, Telling Their Story"
Western Herald -- "WMU Holocaust speech spurs the creation of children’s book"
Writers' Rumpus -- "Our Approach to Telling Eva Kor's True Holocaust Story to Kids"
WOW - Women on Writing "Perseverance and Strength: How Author Danica Davidson Worked with Holocaust Survivor, Eva Mozes Kor, to Publish Her Story" (Scroll down to read)
The Whole Megillah -- "Author’s Notebook | I Will Protect You by Eva Mozes Kor with Danica Davidson"
Judaica in the Spotlight -- "Meet the Author: Danica Davidson"
PR from the Heart -- "Children's Books Spotlight - Danica Davidson/I Will Protect You"
Darlene Beck-Jacobson -- "Danica Davidson Presents: I WILL PROTECT YOU: A Powerful Holocaust Survival Story for MG Readers."