Paper Hearts (Paperback)

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(Teen Fiction)

Staff Reviews

Two Jewish teens meet and become friends in Auschwitz. Since they have both lost their entire family, the girls vow to become each other’s family! This novel, written in verse with few but powerful words, is based on a true story.

-Recommended by Virgie

— From December 2016 Staff Picks for Young Readers


A forbidden gift helps two teenage girls find hope, friendship, and the will to live in this "beautifully told true story about brave young women who refused to be victims and walked out of Auschwitz with their heads unbowed" (School Library Journal).

An act of defiance.
A statement of hope.
A crime punishable by death.

Making a birthday card in Auschwitz was all of those things. But that is what Zlatka did, in 1944, for her best friend, Fania. She stole and bartered for paper and scissors, secretly creating an origami heart. Then she passed it to every girl at the work tables to sign with their hopes and wishes for happiness, for love, and most of all--for freedom.

Fania knew what that heart meant, for herself and all the other girls. And she kept it hidden, through the bitter days in the camp and through the death marches. She kept it always.

This novel is based on the true story of Fania and Zlatka, the story of the bond that helped them both to hope for the best in the face of the worst. Their heart is one of the few objects created in Auschwitz, and can be seen today in the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781481439848
ISBN-10: 1481439847
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Pages: 368
Language: English