77 pages 2 hours read

Alan Gratz

Prisoner B-3087

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2013

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Chapters 1-8Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “Kraków, Poland 1939-1942”

Chapter 1 Summary

The novel begins with 10-year-old Yanek Gruener eating dinner with his family. This is the night the Nazi soldiers take over his hometown of Kraków, Poland. Yanek’s father is hopeful that the war will soon be over, but Uncle Moshe isn’t as confident. Looking back, Yanek says that had they known what was about to happen, they “would have run for the woods outside of town and never looked back” (6).

Chapter 2 Summary

The Nazi soldiers take over Kraków, and everything changes. The Jewish residents lose their jobs, and the Jewish children can no longer attend school. Instead of money they must use ration cards to obtain food, and Yanek is disheartened to learn that he can no longer go the library or movie theater. Uncle Moshe realizes that the Nazi soldiers are “branding [Jews] like cattle” (11) by making them wear armbands with the Star of David to signify that they’re Jewish.

Chapter 3 Summary

The Nazi soldiers build a wall around Kraków, which has now become a ghetto, to prevent the Jewish residents from leaving. Yanek’s parents force him to stay inside because they are afraid he will be taken by the Nazi soldiers and forced to work.