Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust

I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust

4.7 214
by Livia Bitton-Jackson

See All Formats & Editions

A graphic narrative describes what happens to a 13-year-old Jewish girl when the Nazis invade Hungary in 1944. Includes a brief chronology of the Holocaust.


A graphic narrative describes what happens to a 13-year-old Jewish girl when the Nazis invade Hungary in 1944. Includes a brief chronology of the Holocaust.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Born in a small farming town in Hungary, Bitton-Jackson was 13 when Nazis forced her and her family into a Jewish ghetto and then sent them to Auschwitz. After a yearful of innumerable harrowing experiences, she was liberated. While the facts alone command attention, Bitton-Jackson's supple and measured writing would compel the reader even if applied to a less momentous subject. She brings an artist's recall to childhood experiences, conveying them so as to stir fresh empathy in the target audience, even those well-versed in Holocaust literature. She relates, for example, how the yellow star made her feel marked and humiliated, reluctant to attend her school's graduation; how existence in the ghetto, paradoxically, made her happy to be Jewish for the first time in her life; how an aunt terrified the family by destroying their most valuable belongings before deportation, so that the Germans could not profit by them. Her descriptions of Auschwitz and labor camps are brutal, frank and terrifying, all the more so because she keeps her observations personal and immediate, avoiding the sweeping rhetoric that has, understandably, become a staple of much Holocaust testimony. Of particular interest is her relationship with her mother, who survived with her (in part because of the author's determination and bravery after an accident left her mother temporarily paralyzed). An exceptional story, exceptionally well told. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Written in the first person, young readers will experience the joys, terrors, hope and desperation of the author's personal recollections of living in Hungary in 1943, her survival in the concentration camps, and her eventual immigration to the United States. The book includes a family chronology of events, significant dates and eventsrelating to the Holocaust, and a glossary.
VOYA - Victoria Yablonsky
Elli Friedmann's recollections of the horror of the Holocaust begin in her native Hungary in 1944 when she and her family are taken from their home and sent on a journey that would eventually lead to Auschwitz. Her memoir covers 1944 to 1945, her thirteenth and fourteenth years, and relates in excruciating detail the living nightmare she endured in cattle cars on endless train rides and in several Nazi concentration camps. Her stories of humiliation, degradation, and despair vividly express her feelings about her loss of freedom and self. But the wonder of her story is her ability to overcome her nightmare through her spirit and determination never to give up. She survives her ordeal while helping her mother and brother, and they all return to their home at the end of the war and eventually emigrate to America. This is a young adult version of the author's earlier adult book, Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust (Times Books, 1980). It follows the first book closely, but it omits or simplifies some events and slightly changes language in some places. This would be a valuable purchase for junior high or YA collections, but is unnecessary for high schools that own Elli. Glossary. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 5Q 3P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Will appeal with pushing, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
This is a remarkable book. Three years before Elli's story begins in 1943, Hungary occupied Czechoslovakia, and her father's business was confiscated. Now the Germans have occupied Hungary and Czechoslovakia, her school is closed, and Elli's dreams of going to school in Budapest, like her older brother Bubi, vanish. Every few nights German soldiers come in and take someone else away. When her father is told to join all the other men aged 18-45 for "deportation," Elli is devastated. Surely that's the worst thing that could happen; with her father gone how will she and her mother survive? We soon find out that her father's deportation is not the worst thing that could happen. Elli, her mother, and her brother are soon transported themselves, first to a ghetto, then to Auschwitz. Bitton-Jackson has detailed her feelings of love for her family, her need for her mother's approval of her actions, her desire for her mother's acknowledgement of her looks and brains, and her mother's response: "Mrs. Adler takes Bonnie in her arms and calls her meine Schonheit, my beauty, in German. Mommy only greets me with a hello and a smile, no hug and no words of endearment" Her mother answers, "Do you want me to call you meine Schonheit? Bonnie's mother makes a fool of herself." A sensible answer, but teenaged girls have never been known for responding to sense. The story is told in short, beautifully written chapters, which is probably a good idea, allowing the reader to stop and catch his/her breath before resuming. By the time Elli and her mother are liberated, Elli is 14, but she looks 60, and feels as if she has indeed "lived a thousand years." Recommended for mature teens, and anyone interested inchronicles of the Holocaust. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1997, Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, 234p, 18cm, 96-19971, $4.99. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Judith H. Silverman; Chevy Chase, MD, September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpIn 1944, Elli Friedmann, a 13-year-old Hungarian Jew, is deported with her family to Auschwitz. Her blonde braids and tall stature save her from instant death in the crematorium. During the following year, Elli and her mother survive terrible suffering and injustice through sheer courage, perseverance, and ingenuity. The teen matures from a naive child concerned with boys and bicycles to a toughened, traumatizedyet still hopefulyoung woman. This is a chilling account of concentration camps and humankind's capacity for inhumanity. The horrors are not prettified or watered down and are appropriately nightmarish. Unfortunately, the book has two flaws. First, Bitton-Jackson tells her story in the present tense, or tries to; but the voice is inconsistent, and the results are awkward and, at times, confusing. Second, not all the segments are complete. For instance, early in Auschwitz, Elli sees blood running down the legs of a menstruating woman and wonders how she'll feel when her period arrives; but nothing else is mentioned on the subject. The author's adult book, Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust (Times, 1980; o.p.)from which this book is adaptedprovides the answers to this and other questions. Despite these drawbacks, I Have Lived a Thousand Years is a gripping story that teaches important lessons. It will be a valuable addition to any Holocaust collection.Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.70(d)
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Livia Bitton-Jackson, born Elli L. Friedmann in Czechoslovakia, was thirteen when she, her mother, and her brother were taken to Auschwitz. They were liberated in 1945 and came to the United States on a refugee boat in 1951. She received a PhD in Hebrew culture and Jewish history from New York University. Dr. Bitton-Jackson has been a professor of history at City University of New York for thirty-seven years. Her previous books include Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust, which received the Christopher Award, the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award, and the Jewish Heritage Award. Dr. Bitton-Jackson lives in Israel with her husband, children, and grandchildren.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

I Have Lived a Thousand Years 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 214 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 12 years old. I may be young, but I am not too young to think this is the best book I've ever read. I'm not going to write one of those sappy reviews that says how much this book changed my life, but I will say that it is an amazing book! I had to read it for my 6th grade class and once I started reading, I just couldn't stop! I took the book everywhere with me because it pulls you in. The book talks about a young girl trying to keep up with her family. She has to deal with the death of relatives and possibly death for herself. She is too young to work, so the only thing left to do is o hide. I hope you read this book because it truley is great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book. I haven't read such a moving story in a looong time. It was incredible how Elli managed to keep herself and her mom alive. I couldn't put the book down and finished it in 2 days. I love the authors writing style. If you like reading Holocaust survivor stories, I totally recommend this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i read this book last year and i fell in love with it. I feel everyon shiuld try to read this book, for it is so amazing. I really felt like i was right there with ellike. I felt like i had know her foever. Such a great book! Even for younger kids becaus i was 10 when i read the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow this book was amazing i couldn't leave the book alone longer for a minute. I recomend this book to people 12 years or older because there is some parts in this book that is not apporite for younger readers. I loved this soooo much but it was very sad. It it manily about a 13 year old girl growing up in the holocaust and it is about what had happened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK! I read it 5 times. It gives you a really good look at the Halocaust because it is a true story about the author. I learned so much just from this one book than any other book i've read about the halocaust!! Also at the end it gives you a timeline of the events in the book and definitions of any words in the book you may not know. If you like Anne Frank then you should read this book for sure! Probabley best halocaust book ive ever read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WOW! I am in the process of reading this book and wow is all i can say!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have one word for this book, AMAZING. I just could not put it down. My Language Arts teacher had to literally ask me to put it down andpay attention to the lesson! It is a truly touching story and now im reading the second book. A must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. It has helped me understand what these people went through. I have also had the priviledge to being a student of Livia Bitton Jackson. She is an amazing woman who never lost her sense of life, humor, and kindness in spite of what she endured. She is an inspiration, and lesson that nothing is impossible. She truly is remarkable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most heroic stories of perseverance and the belief that no matter how ugly humanity can be, there are amazing people in the word. Elli is one of those incredible, brave survivors of the Holocaust. I use this book in my 8th grade classes and it creates deep discussion of human nature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It scary and sad how horrible thejews were treated they are really no different than people like you andme.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for english and i thought it was gunna be boring but i was totally wrong!!!!!!!! Best bookever!!
Phillip More than 1 year ago
This book is a great book if you like a fiction novel that will touch your heart. It takes place in Europe and the protagonist is Elli, a 14 year old Jewish girl. Who lives with her family and loves to go to school. Her father owns a small pawn shop and that is there only income. When her brother Bubi comes home, unexpected, and tells everyone that Budapest was invaided by the Germans, his father says it was a false alarm. The next day Bubi goes back to Budapest and later that day the rest of the family hears on the radio that it was not a false alarm. To find what happens next, get reading! P.C.
Anonymous 9 months ago
There's so much to say about this book, and especially, the writer herself. Though the story is heartbreaking, the fact that she survived to tell the tale of her nightmarish survival of the Holocaust gives the world hope. And, that the world can never allow this kind of inhumanity to ever happen again. It makes me so sad and so mad that anyone can hate others so much just because their religious beliefs differ. RESIST!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I throughly enjoyed this book. It is a fast read and I highly recommend it. I can't even imagine wgat Elli and her famiky went through and survived.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I had to read this book for part of my research project. This book was interesting, beautiful, sad, and most of all, hopeful. I could not put this book down. The events that took place kept me on the edge of my seat. The history and background was intriguing to read and never left me bored. The book also gave a sense of beauty because of Elli's heart. The love for her mother, brother, and her father, was beautiful. The book did have sadness but that didn't stop me from reading it. It kept me continuing to read it because of the events that where happening in the book. Lastly, this book was hopeful. The reason liked this book so much is because of Elli's hope throughout the book. Because of all the hardships she goes through, she still keeps her hope. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading about the Holocaust. Its a really good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I read this book for my English research project. I very much so enjoyed reading this book. I am very passionate about the Holocaust and have read many books about the Holocaust. This book especially touched my heart, Elli's close bond with her mother reminds me of the close relationship I have with my mom. This story is a real and raw account of what went on during the Holocaust and the importance of family, faith and hope. Elli's yearning desire to stay alive and continue on is what kept her motivated to stay strong the entire time. This book is truly inspirational and shows true events of the Holocaust. One of my favorite parts in the book was so sad to hear, but also very disturbing to know how unaware people were to what was going on. My favorite part was when the German woman in the train station mistakens Elli for a 67 year old woman only being 14 years old. Not only did that small part change the way I looked at the book, but it changed my perspective on the Holocaust. It shows everything Elli had been through; heartbreak, disappointment, fright, starvation and pain had aged her, it had aged her a thousand years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 6th grade and loved it, to see it on nook I am very pleased to read this again 20 years later
Noah_N More than 1 year ago
"I Have Lived a Thousand Years" was one of the most interesting and exhilarating books I have read in a long time. I decided to read this book for my English class in school based on reviews and it did not disappoint. The story is about a young teenage girl's journey through the Holocaust from being captured to surviving Auschwitz to being freed. The book is a true story as the author is the main character of the book. Everything from the plot to the details to the flow of the book kept me entertained and enthralled the whole time. Each time I picked up the book to read, it was nearly impossible to put it down. The most interesting part of the book, in my opinion, was learning about everything that happened from first-hand experience. Truly being able to see how cruel the Nazis were and how terrible the conditions were was eye-opening. Obviously, I knew it was bad, but not that bad. I rated this book four out of five stars because at some points it felt a bit rushed and a little more detail could have been added. Other than that, this book was extremely well written and I would suggest it to anyone that enjoys Holocaust stories or just a good book in general.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Engaging but not too many details. Not a book for children under age s
b_ram More than 1 year ago
I am a sophomore in high school and was required to read this book for my English class. I found this book very interesting and useful. Although it did not go into great detail about every aspect of the Holocaust, it did give great insight of someone's personal struggle through the tragic event. I liked that the book didn't go much into the history of the Holocaust but just enough detail to know what was going on back then.I enjoyed the book because there were moments where Elli describes how she feels that made me feel sympathetic and understanding of what she went through. What made this book a great read was that the book always had me wanting to know what happens next. It was a straight forward book with information of the various camps she experienced throughout her time during the Holocaust. This book reminded me once again, how important it is to  know what the Holocaust victims went through and that we should never forget about this catastrophic event in  history. It was an inspiring story that I would definitely recommend to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore I personally love this book it gives very detailed tragic events on how the Nazis hurt and killed their victims. It is a book where I am able to picture with only words the survival Elli and her family had to go through. After all they went through they managed to keep fighting until the last day. This a book written on the hope and faith the Holocaust survivors had. I feel bad for what they have gone through but I admire their strong and courageous attitude.This book is a great way to get to know more about what happened without having to read so much about dates like in a history textbook. It's more like picturing how the events happened it helps the readers engage more into the book. I appreciate Livia Bitton-Jackson for writing this book and I look forward to reading her other books on the Holocaust. This book has interested me very much in the past mistakes our world has done and how now it affects our every move because we do not want to fall back into the same mistakes as past history has shown. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Livia Bitton Jackson is the best holocost author. Everyone should read her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in 2009 and have been looking for it ever sense. I can't wait to read it again. It makes it easy to put yourself in the book. I love it
BrandyGirl More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book to anyone interested in holocaust survivor stories. Truly enjoyed reading this book.