28 Days: A Novel of Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto

Written by David Safier Helen MacCormac (trans.)
Review by David Drum

Mira is a smart young Polish Jewish girl living in the grimy, desperate world of the overcrowded Warsaw Ghetto. Rounded up by the Nazis during World War II, all around her are an estimated 400,000 Jews who are being slowly starved and worked to death, their future uncertain.

As this well-plotted novel begins, Mira is a low-level smuggler sneaking out of the ghetto to bring back food. She is followed and captured on the streets of Warsaw by bounty hunters, but a young stranger, Amos, pretends she is his girlfriend and rescues her with a passionate kiss.

Mira is drawn to tough, adventurous Amos, who is involved with the resistance inside the ghetto, but she also loves Daniel, an idealistic young pacifist. For most of the book, Mira struggles to survive and help hold together her family, always on the edge of being caught or destroyed.

Mira is a believable and likeable young heroine who experiences terrible losses and humiliating ordeals, yet she retains her spirit despite the horror and danger that surround her. In the awful crucible of the Warsaw Ghetto, where so many were sent to their death, she lives out a touching love story, and a story of pluck, courage, and resistance.

After members of Mira’s family are murdered and trains begin taking Jews to concentration camps, Mira picks up a weapon to help fight. In this cleanly-written, adventurous, big-hearted YA novel, for 28 days, the reader roots for her to survive.