Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen

Mapping the Bones

The year is 1942, and Chaim and Gittel, Polish twins, are forced from their beautiful home and made to live in the Lodz Ghetto. Their family's cramped quarters are awful, but when even those dire circumstances become too dangerous, their parents decide to make for the nearby Lagiewniki Forest, where partisan fighters are trying to shepherd Jews to freedom in Russia. The partisans take Chaim and Gittel, with promises that their parents will catch ...

Details Mapping the Bones

TitleMapping the Bones
Release DateMar 6th, 2018
PublisherPhilomel Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, World War II, Holocaust, War, Fiction

Reviews Mapping the Bones

  • Kalena W
    10/5 stars, this book was phenomenal. I had a theory about this book that ultimately didn't come to happen and I am so happy. This book still had a great ending though. I love how this book was loosely based on Hansel & Gretel but still was in WWll. If you didn't look closely, or even didn't read in between the lines, you would miss the references to Hansel & Gretel. This book was still based upon and in WWll so it was a nice idea. Then this book...
  • Alicia
    This meaty WWII story that is a retelling of the Hansel and Gretel tale with Chaim and Gittel, twins who are taken to the labor camps in 1942 and the horrific abuse they endured especially being young twins at the hands of an evil doctor. The beauty of the book is Chaim's poetry and their familial and deeply-felt connection to one another, while also using chapters every so often for reflection by Gittel about those times that adds a layer of bea...
  • Sherry Guice
    A terrific and horrifying story of the Holocaust from Jane Yolen. Accessible to middle school students and those older...filled with details and terror.
  • Erikka
    Two children live in a small house with their parents. They find themselves in a dark and foreboding woods, lost and cold. One day, they stumble upon a house of candy, filled with promises...and danger. "Hansel and Gretel" takes on a new spin in this third phenomenal and heartbreaking book about the Holocaust from master storyteller Jane Yolen. We traveled through time with "The Devil's Arithmetic", awakened Sleeping Beauty in "Briar Rose", and n...
  • Suz Thackston
    Oof. This was a tough read. I love Jane Yolen and was excited to get this copy (signed by the author) but it's no fairy tale.Not that any Holocaust book should be.It's beautifully written, in simple prose that puts you right there, with the protagonists. It's not melodramatic or heart-tuggy and it doesn't wallow in the ghastliness.But it doesn't spare you either.I'm glad I read it, and I'm glad it's over.
  • Lara
    This is a good book, but not an easy one. Just remember, when you're blinking back tears in parts--this is "Hansel and Gretel". Gretel will always shove the witch into the oven.
  • Katie
    3.5Not as good as The Devil's Arithmetic, but what is? I DID like that this was about the overall experience about the Holocaust, not solely set in a concentration camp.The Hansel and Gretel parallels didn't work. Mostly I was just confused when they started talking about houses made of candy.
  • Ann Dague
    Not my favorite Yolen novel, but still interesting. I really liked how the novel told the story, but also had little excepts from one of the main characters looking back on events as an adult. It gave a little relief knowing that at least one of the main characters was going to survive the tragic events unfolding. There are so many exceptional novels about WWII, that this book would not be at the top of my list to recommend. Based on a variety of...
  • Almira
    ********** SPOILER ALERT********This is a really hard one to write about.With the exception of Anne Frank's diary, and a few "older" books about children during WWII on the German side, this is the first novel that I have read that is so vividly written from the point of view of "young" Jewish children. This may not be for everyone, especially towards the end of the book.If you know about the Holocaust, then you know what "the chimney" is.We have...
  • Teenreadsdotcom
    Early in their journey trying to escape the fearful Nazis, Chaim and his twin, Gittel, are separated from their parents. They don’t know what has happened to them, but they do know that now they must go on without them. Something has gone terribly wrong. They travel with Sophie and her brother Bruno who are close in ages to the twins. Sophie and Bruno, along with their parents, had been living with Chaim’s family. Now they try to follow the c...
  • Kelsey
    I read this book because I remember reading Jane Yolen’s The Devil’s Arithmetic when I was in middle school and loving it. That book had a much bigger impact on me but that likely had to do with my age. The terror of this time period doesn’t ever go away. It is really horrifying. Overall a good book and didnt feel like a YA book.
  • Ms. Yingling
    Love Yolen, need more Holocaust books, but this one was just a bit too long for my collection. May recommend that the one or two readers a year who are avid Holocaust book readers get it from the public library, but I don't think I will purchase for my middle school library.Beautifully written, compelling story, but just not what I need right now.
  • Martha Schwalbe
    Is it coincidental that I am reading and hearing so much about Polish Resistance fighters during WWII? I knew about the German resistance fighters but not so much about the Polish fighters. This past year I've read books, papers, and heard lectures on the topic of these fighters.The story in Mapping the Bones kept me reading and feeling depressed when the bad things happened, yet a book about the Holocaust needs the bad things so they weren't une...
  • Eleonor
    Jag kan inte sluta gråta. Trots helt fiktiv känns den så brutalt verklig. De är svårlästa, dessa böcker om Förintelsen. Men så länge jag lever kommer jag fortsätta läsa dem. Det är det minsta jag kan göra för alla liv förlorade. עם ישראל חי ❤ Jag kan inte sluta gråta. Trots helt fiktiv känns den så brutalt verklig. De är svårlästa, dessa böcker om Förintelsen. Men så länge jag lever kommer jag fortsätta lä...
  • Katie
    A retelling of Hansel & Gretel through the Nazi occupation of Poland. I love this author. How has it taken this long for me to find her? She's prolific & well has she never shown on my radar?
  • Katie
    A beautiful and intense story, but with much sadness embedded, as you can well imagine with a Holocaust novel. Jane Yolen is amazing--I highly recommend her newest title!
  • Kirsten
    I love Jane Yolen’s beautiful writing. With echoes of Hansel & Gretel, this heartbreaking YA novel provides an important introduction to the Jewish ghettos, desperate escape attempts into the forest with the help of partisans, forced labor camps, and children working in munitions factories during WWII in Poland. A horrific story that we need to hear over and over again.
  • Anna
    Won from a Goodreads' giveawayThe characters may be fictional, but the events this heart wrenching story are based on are anything but fictional.Mapping the Bones follows a teenage boy Chaim, and his twin sister Gittel, after the Nazis have forced them from their home into a Jewish ghetto. From a tiny ghetto apartment, to forests, then eventually to a concentration camp, the twins find their family broken apart and their definition of normalcy fr...
  • Jennifer
    I really enjoyed this retelling of the Hansel & Gretel story this time set in WW2. Follows twins Gittel & Chaim as they escape the Lodz ghetto to the forest where they meet up with partisans, and, ultimately, to the Sobanek Labor Camp. Gets 3.5, really, as it was really engrossing till the abrupt and kinda "meh" ending that, quite, frankly, has been done before. (let's just say twins, crazy doctor, experiments, & you get the picture).Up until the...
  • Kathy
    Twins Gittle and near-silent Chaim escape the Lodz ghetto in Poland in 1942, hiding first in a forest with Polish partisans only to be sold to a work camp where their twinship makes them subject to the experimentation of a mad doctor. Masterful use of fairy tale motifs that enhance the horror. Based loosely on the Hansel and Gretel story framework, this makes use of the Grimmest of fairy tale details but also lauds the role of Chaim's poetry in h...
  • Kristin
    V v dark...but also v v good.
  • Abbie
    Read my review at Bookish Adventures.
  • elissa
    This was a very slow read for me, although I do think it was worth it.
  • Kirsten
    Why oh why do so many books I read lately start off super strong and then end terribly? And no, I don’t mean terribly in the sense of “wow, that’s so tragic, how terrible” but terribly in the sense that it’s just not a good ending for a novel and I’m annoyed.From the first couple chapters, Yolen had me. I was intrigued by the setup for the book (aka Gittel and Chaim’s family being trapped in the Ghetto) and I liked the promise of po...
  • Collette
    Remembering how much I loved "The Devil's Arithmetic" as a young girl, it is no surprise that I was taken by Jane Yolen's latest. From the moment I picked up "Mapping the Bones", I was immersed in a well-layered tale of loss, struggle, hope, humanity, and the unshakable bond of family and community. It is a tale that shifts between two characters, Chaim and Gittel --young Jewish twins living in Poland during the Holocaust. Their story parallels t...
  • Lois R. Gross
    "Sometimes I'm asked "Is it true"? And then they add, "How can it possibly be true? None of you wrote it down at the time." As if no one is ever brutalized in a war. As if the Nazis handed us a pen and paper to take notes. As if the photographs of the ovens and the chimneys, the few stick-figure survivors, the skeletal remains in mass graves aren't true enough. As if we who were witness falsified our memories."This is not the first time that Jane...
  • Fay
    (4.5 stars) This was a tough book to get through for several reasons and I wanted to DNF at several points because it took me so long to get through. It was intense but it also got slow at points. In my opinion, there were good chunks of chapters that didn’t really need to be included. I also had a problem with how some of the characters talked, we’re supposed to believe that most of the characters are children, we’re also in the head of a ...
  • Melissa Mcavoy
    Aaaargh, until the last few chapters Mapping the Bones was a five star book I was looking forward to buying multiple copies of for the seventh grade World War 2 book talks next month.The main characters feel alive, the settings can been, seen, smelled and felt. The poetry is both powerful and believably that of a very talented child in extraordinary circumstances. It was painful and beautiful and sublime and an honor to read. So close to the end ...
  • Amy
    Many thanks to Edelweiss and Penguin Random House for an advanced Kindle copy of this book. All opinions are my own.I was drawn to this tale of two children (Gittel and Chaim) during the Holocaust for a few reasons. 1-All of my students INHALE Holocaust books, so I like to keep a look out for new ones.2-Jane Yolen is an acclaimed author and highly recognizable in this style/genre, so I had high expectations.I was not disappointed. I have already ...