Nominees:   20172016201520142013201220112010200920082007200620052004200320022001

2015 Nominee
Voted 1 out of 20

Last Train: A Holocaust Story

By Rona Arato. Published in 2013 by Owl Kids

The Last Train is the harrowing true story about young brothers Paul and Oscar Arato and their mother, Lenke, surviving the Nazi occupation during the final years of World War II.
Living in the town of Karcag, Hungary, the Aratos felt insulated from the war – even as it raged all around them. Hungary is allied with Germany to protect its citizens from invasion, but in 1944 Hitler breaks his promise to keep the Nazis out of Hungary.
The Nazi occupation forces the family into situations of growing panic and fear: first into a ghetto in their hometown; then a labor camp in Austria; and, finally, to the deadly Bergen Belsen camp deep in the heart of Germany. Separated from their father, 6-year-old Paul and 11-year-old Oscar must care for their increasingly sick mother, all while trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy amid the horrors of the camp.
In the spring of 1945, the boys see British planes flying over the camp, and a spark of hope that the war will soon end ignites. And then, they are forced onto a dark, stinking boxcar by the Nazi guards. After four days on the train, the boys are convinced they will be killed, but through a twist of fate, the train is discovered and liberated by a battalion of American soldiers marching through Germany.
The book concludes when Paul, now a grown man living in Canada, stumbles upon photographs on the internet of his train being liberated. After writing to the man who posted the pictures, Paul is presented with an opportunity to meet his rescuers at a reunion in New York – but first he must decide if he is prepared to reopen the wounds of his past.

Read Canadian Materials Review

5 thoughts on “Last Train: A Holocaust Story

  1. St.Jerome

    Last Train is a wonderful novel with lots of detail. The author used lots of descriptive words and everything made sense.

  2. Agnes Davidson

    I liked the last train because it had a big connection to being with your family and sticking together no matter what happens throughout world war 2. It had really good characters, the author kept it level so all the characters had a place.

  3. Hillhurst

    The Last Train A Holocaust Story
    By, Rona Arato

    The Nazis have invaded a small town called Karcag in Hungary where a little family called the Auslanders lives in their small home. Apu has gone off to fight in the war and his family has had no news about him and can not contact him either. Little Paul Auslander thinks that nothing else could get any worse but things just have. The Germans take them away and put them into box cars to be taken to Austria to a farm getting ready for harvest. When they get there they have to be drenched in cold water, so cold it makes Paul’s mother Anyu sick. They have to work in the fields and come to attention in the early frosty mornings every day. They move constantly between concentration camps and Anyu is getting weaker each day. This is a heart warming story about a small family called the Auslanders that keep going every step of the way.

    The Last Train is a 35 chapter 142 page book that always keeps readers captivated through every page till the very last word. What I love about this book is that you never know what could happen next. It is non-fiction mostly except in some of the conversations some words are not what was actually said. That is the neat thing about this book because everything that happened actually occurred it keeps you wondering how they survived and what they felt like every step of the way.

    My thesis is I think that this book helps readers to understand about an issue that happened a long time ago and that is still happening today, unfairness. I think that because it is a book about how Jewish people were treated in WWII. It tells you about how they were abused in the view of a little boy and his brother Oscar. It shows you that because people were different coloured or they didn’t follow a certain culture that other people did, because they couldn’t fight back they were mistreated and forced to work for nothing at all except pain and sorrow.
    My favourite part of the book was near the end when Paul was playing with his friend Tommy:

    “Wait!” Tommy held up a hand. “I see one”
    “There.” Tommy leaned over the edge of the pile and pointed up the street. He picked up a chunk of cement. “Arm yourself!”
    Paul didn’t answer.
    “Paul I said arm yourself.”
    Paul still didn’t answer.
    “Hey are you alright?” Tommy grabbed Paul’s arm.
    Paul wrenched it away. He turned and raced down the pile stumbling the last few steps and landing on his hands and knees. Lurching to his feet he ran towards the approaching figure.
    “Apu!” He cried, waving his arms. “Apu!”
    The man stopped and stared.
    “Paul!” He shouted. He moved towards him and lifted him in the air.

    That was my favourite part because it showed how after all that they had went through because they survived they got to see each other again it showed all bad things turn out well in the end that part made me really happy.

    I think that lots of people should read this book because it is really well written and it is true it is a non-fiction book about real people and real occurrences. Sometimes it seems unreal just because people can’t believe how badly they were treated and how much suffering they went through. I am amazed at how they survived and happy at how everything turned out. Also I think that lots of people if not everyone should read this book if they can because it is a heart warming story about a little family who was beaten and tortured but still survived because of their hope in God and their beliefs that everything will work out in the end.
    – Storm

  4. Chauvin Mun. Library

    This book was a little sad and a little scary, but I enjoyed learning more about the Holocaust through this novel.


Review This Book