Escaping into the Night

Written by D. Dina Friedman
Review by Dana Cohlmeyer

In her first book for a younger audience, Ms. Friedman does well. Escaping into the Night is a gripping telling of a little-known aspect of the Holocaust: the underground forest encampments that saved several thousand Jews from the Nazis. Halina Rudowski finds herself being spirited out of the Polish ghetto she and her mother are living in. She soon finds herself living a strange existence underground in the forest, struggling to cope with sudden changes in her life. This thirteen-year old girl, a talented singer, discovers her own resilience through the friends she chooses to embrace.

This compelling book, intended for ages 10-14, is simply fantastic. It is impossible to not be drawn into the life Halina is forced to live and hold one’s breath as the choices she makes place her in harm’s way. Not only is her story fascinating, the exploration of the underground camps that allowed Jews to escape the Nazis is intriguing and one rarely—if ever—heard.

Escaping into the Night is marvelous. One hopes that the author finds other equally compelling stories to tell for young people.