Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 6 - 8Grades 3 - 5n/a4.945937
10 concentration camps.

10 different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly.

It's something no one could imagine surviving.

But it is what Yanek Gruener has to face.

As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the mercy of the Nazis who have taken over. Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have been snatched brutally from him. And then Yanek himself is taken prisoner -- his arm tattooed with the words PRISONER B-3087.

He is forced from one nightmarish concentration camp to another, as World War II rages all around him. He encounters evil he could have never imagined, but also sees surprising glimpses of hope amid the horror. He just barely escapes death, only to confront it again seconds later.

Can Yanek make it through the terror without losing his hope, his will -- and, most of all, his sense of who he really is inside?


Based on an astonishing true story.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published on March 1, 2013 by Scholastic Press
ISBN-10: 054545901X
ISBN-13: 9780545459013
30 Book Reviews
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  • ranger51
    ranger51Monday, March 19, 2018 at 8:28 am55 stars
    I read this in the summer before I went into 7th Grade and I thought it was pretty much the best book EVER! I almost cried but I couldn't let myself because I was in the car with my mom... yes, I downed it in a single 2-hour sitting and needed more of it afterwards. Something about me likes books that are really sad/suspenseful/heart-breaking/intense... Yeah, this book is INTENSE! It really made me think just how terrible it would have been to be in a concentration camp and how cruel they were... I mean, people just died around the poor kid all the time. A couple times, the Jews had to slap their caps against their thighs... Some of the Jews that did it didn't slap against their thighs hard enough to make the "right noise" and they shot them down on the spot! It's terrible, really, when you think about it. However, I think it was perfect how the author set up the exposition with Yanek and his family and the strong, passionate relationship between them; I enjoyed the suspense of them hiding for months before they were actually found (yes, spoiler alert). And as Yanek has to go through the torture him and his fellow Jews have to face, he has one hope that keeps him going... his family and the hope of seeing thing again. Will this ever come true? Will he even make it out alive? Will they?
    • alivsaeFriday, March 2, 2018 at 5:20 pm
      This book was soooo GOOD! I'm really interested in Holocaust books (for some strange reason). I loved how it followed Yanek through all the different camps. It was a real humbling book knowing that these people had to go through these rough times.
      • smiley4
        smiley4Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 6:54 pmFeatured
        Prisoner B-3087 is an amazing book! I loved it, I have read over 6 times and it is a book that you won't want to put down! This book shows that you be selfish about the things you have because you never know when you can lose those things. This book is about a boy named Yanek. He is Jewish and is growing up during World War II. Yanek and his family hide as best as they can but one day his family is pulled off of the streets to be sent to concentration camps. One day Yanek is pulled off of the streets after his work detail is closed and he is sent to the nearest concentration camp. Yanek discoveres the horrors of the camps, Yanek finds that he is the last in his family to be alive and he makes it priority one to stay alive. Yanek is sent from camp to camp only to be on the edge of death and to see others dying right before his eyes. They are gassed to death or hung for just being Jewish, they had commit no crime except that they were Jewish. This book will send you into tears. This book is very meaningful as it shows just how fast things you love can be taken away from you and that you should treasure what you have. I recommend this book for 5th to 8th graders but it really depends on what level you are at. I read in 3rd grade. Every one should read this book. It will touch your heart.
        • ruehawthorn
          ruehawthornMonday, September 12, 2016 at 3:53 pm
          Loved it.
          • charlesh20
            charlesh20Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 12:36 am55 starsFeatured
            This book Prisoner B-3087 is an amazing book with full of determination! This book is based on a true story! This book can let you realised that if you never give up then even you encounter impossibles situations eventually you will overcome it. From this story I learned about life lesson, your life might be miserable and had no hope but if you never give up and has a strong mind at the end you will succeed. This book really touched my heart,this book is basically about a boy named Yanke, he is a Jewish, at that time the Nazis have control most of Europe . Everything he have and everyone he love is taken away from him. Yanke himself has became a prisoner and he has a number (B-3087) tattooed on his wrist. Yanke trying to get his family out of the concentration camp and also get him self out of the living hell, because in the concentration camp he is destiny to face to death by anytime. He is trying to survive thought the concentration camp. I personally think this book brings me and teaches me and also help me understand same important lessons in my personal life, I am struggling on my grade, because I didn't have the mind of determination, I am kind of giving up, but from this book I've seen this whole thing differently and make my mind to do the impossible to improve myself. I would say this story have clearly stated the struggles of the people to survive in the concentration camp, I can feel like I am in the concentration camp and have the a big problem to be resolved.I need the determination and strength to overcome my problems instead of escaping from them. The book is writhed in a very special way with advance word choice, the content of the book, the story structure of the whole story and with the simple sentences to bring and shows out the whole idea of this book. I recommend this book for 6th to 8th graders!
            • volleyballqueen
              volleyballqueenSunday, November 22, 2015 at 6:16 pm55 stars
              Prisoner B-3087 is an amazing book full of determination! This book will get you to realize the right for freedom. Everyone will want to be like Yanek when they read this book because he is determined,full of heart, and strong. This is a story of surviving and chasing your biggest dreams!
              • emmako11
                emmako11Monday, November 16, 2015 at 11:22 am55 stars
                i love this book so far it is really good
                • nolric
                  nolricTuesday, October 13, 2015 at 6:17 am55 stars
                  Have you ever been away from home for a long time? Yanek Gruener has. He was away from home for 6 years in 10 different concentration camps. Yanek had to survive at these labor camps. They had one meal a day, soup and bread, and most were killed for no reason except for amusement of the Nazis. The Nazis were the antagonist and Yanek was the protagonist. The Nazis were starving Yanek, and making him work like crazy. One major conflict is that Yanek is away from his family, who were taken into a concentration camp before he was. Another major conflict is trying to survive. Some Nazis like Amon Goeth sat on a balcony and shot Jews during roll call. He had to keep quiet and do what he is told. I recommend this book for 6th graders and up because of some of the content.
                  • quimcc
                    quimccThursday, October 8, 2015 at 7:32 am55 stars
                    Have you ever wanted to read a good book on World War Two? If you do I have the perfect book for you. Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz is a great true story about a young polish boy named Yanke in the holocaust. Yanke has to go through very tough times in his young life such as watching his parents get taken away and watching his uncle get executed. Yanke is also taken away by the Nazi's but Yanke has more of a drive to not let the Nazi's control him. Yankes knows he needs to survive and he will do anything like ripping up floorboards to sleep under and taking bread from officers. Yanke has a lot of struggles along the way even simple things as the weather which the Nazis who are the antagonist always used to their advantage. But Yanke who is the protagonist doesn't let that stop him; Yanke keeps on fighting through the hard times of the holocaust. This is the type of book that you will never lose interest in it keeps on going with different problems and new people. I really enjoyed reading Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz it is a great true story about the holocaust and a good book all around I'm highly recommend this book!
                    • nolric
                      nolricWednesday, September 23, 2015 at 9:03 am55 stars
                      Best book I ever read. It is a depressing story of Yanek Gruener. It's the first book I read about the holocaust. Now I want to watch Schindlers list.