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200 Pages • 8 x 6.5

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Ages: 9-13

Reading Levels

Grade: 6-8

Nominated for the 2016 Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year for Children Award.

A story of consequences, friendship, and a young man's search for identity.

Thirteen-year-old Hendrik and his family have hidden their true identity as Jews and are living as Catholics in Budapest during WWII. One day, in a burst of loyalty, Hendrik reveals that his name is in fact Jakob and he is Jewish. It is a choice with drastic consequences. It not only puts his whole family in danger but it also severs his ties with his best friend Ivan, whose father is a high-ranking military official.

Throughout the horrific months that follow in the Auschwitz concentration camp, it is Jakob’s passion for revenge against Ivan that fuels his will to survive. However, unknown to Jakob, Ivan had made a choice of his own on that fateful day – a choice that changes everything.

The Choice
is Kathy Clark's second book in the Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers, and is based on the experiences of her father, a Holocaust survivor. She is also the author of the Red Maple-nominated Guardian Angel House.

Release Date: March 10, 2015


Watch the book trailer for The Choice:


  • Short-Listed for the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award - 2017

  • Nominated for the Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year for Children Award - 2016

  • Selected for Canadian Children's Book Centre's "Best Books for Kids and Teens" - Fall 2015


"The book is well written for young readers... heartbreaking but full of hope and tolerance." - Resource Links

"Clark makes wise narrative choices in presenting life at Auschwitz... The Choice is an excellent historical novel... Highly recommended." - CM: Canadian Review of Materials (****/4 star review)

"Deftly written for young readers… very highly recommended for both school and community library collections." - The Midwest Book Review

"The Choice is recommended reading for young readers and it is good reading for adults too... [Kathy Clark] opens the door for all types of important conversations about history, consequence of actions, seeking revenge, the significance of religion, culture and values, thinking for yourself and taking responsibility for your own choices." - Edmonton Jewish News

"Set in Budapest, The Choice provides a unique perspective to the Holocaust… Educators and librarians hoping to engage readers with historical fiction will want to add this novel to their shelves." - VOYA Magazine

"The ending of the story brings both validation and realization of how the human spirit can triumph even under unfathomable atrocities, and how the choices we make in life can change everything." - Historical Novels Review

"The Choice clearly demonstrates the choices that a boy on the verge of manhood had to make during the Holocaust.... But the strength of the book lies in the emotional content, the relationship between Jakob and Ivan, and Jakob and Levi." - Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

"This was an outstanding book for anyone interested in the Holocaust and a gripping narrative." -Ottawa Jewish Bulletin 

"[The Choice] is perfect for middle school students beginning to learn about the Holocaust and for older students who are interested in learning more." - VOYA Magazine

"... this well-written story should captivate many young minds. There are historical explanations offered, a map and photographs of key places are included, and the story is both exciting and believable." - Canadian Teacher Magazine


Reading Levels

Grade: 6-8

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