The Devil's Arithmetic

The Devil's Arithmetic

eBook - 1990
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"A triumphantly moving book." —Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewHannah dreads going to her family's Passover Seder—she's tired of hearing her relatives talk about the past. But when she opens the front door to symbolically welcome the prophet Elijah, she's transported to a Polish village in the year 1942. Why is she there, and who is this "Chaya" that everyone seems to think she is? Just as she begins to unravel the mystery, Nazi soldiers come to take everyone in the village away. And only Hannah knows the unspeakable horrors that await. A critically acclaimed novel from multi-award-winning author Jane Yolen. "[Yolen] adds much to understanding the effects of the Holocaust, which will reverberate throughout history, today and tomorrow." —SLJ, starred review "Readers will come away with a sense of tragic history that both disturbs and compels." —Booklist Winner of the National Jewish Book AwardAn American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists"
Publisher: 1990
ISBN: 9781101664308
Branch Call Number: OverDrive ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From Library Staff

Hannah resents the traditions of her Jewish heritage until time travel places her in the middle of as small village in Nazi-occupied Poland.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add Age Suitability

Aug 10, 2014

blue_heron_59 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

selenium_dog_6 Jun 20, 2014

selenium_dog_6 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

MaxineML Dec 20, 2013

MaxineML thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

white_butterfly_327 Aug 29, 2013

white_butterfly_327 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

white_zebra_177 Feb 12, 2013

white_zebra_177 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and under

maroon_baboon_66 Aug 19, 2012

maroon_baboon_66 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

violet_cockroach_16 Jul 23, 2012

violet_cockroach_16 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

blue_dolphin_2105 Jun 12, 2012

blue_dolphin_2105 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


Add a Comment

Feb 12, 2018

I wish I had read this book back when it first came out. Back then, I was about the same age as the main character, Hannah, and like her, I too was into shopping, baby-sitting, wearing coral lipstick, and hanging out with my friends. :) I wonder whether today's young readers find Hannah just as relatable. Judging by the enduring popularity of this book, I bet they do.

The library describes this as a time-travel book, but it's not about time travel in the usual sci-fi sense. It's more like Hannah has a mysterious vision or a waking dream state in which she relives events from someone else's past.

The story is beautifully told, and it really makes you appreciate the importance of family, kindness, tradition, history, and memory. It also shows how everyday people can become heroes in ways both small and large.

Oct 25, 2017

This book is so powerful. And despite the horrors, life-affirming. A book for everyone, of all ages, religions, nationalities. Yolen is a true treasure.

Nov 05, 2015

Hannah does not take interest in traditions she cannot understand. But when she learns the depth of the horrors of the concentration camps and values the small acts of heroism performed there; a pair of shoes, a shared crust of bread, silent endurance she comes to better appreciate not only the ceremonies that come with the holidays but also the company.

Jun 07, 2014

This is a haunting book that explains the horrors of a Jewish Concentration camp.

May 31, 2012

I also loved this book, but found i quite upsetting at times. I liked how they linked Rivkah back to the future, I thought it was very clever. The book is way better than the movie.

Aug 25, 2011

I read this book and loved it<3. It can be sad and horrific at times though so this is a book for older people.


Add a Summary

Violet_Dog_1215 Aug 02, 2012

There is a gilr naed Hannah. Her family have something that has to do with their religion. Hannah opens the door and strange thing happen to her. Read this book to find out what happenes next. But I must say that this is a very good book.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at MCL

To Top