By Kathy Kacer

Harper Collins

September 3, 2024




Age / Grade 8-12 / Grades 3-6 12-14 / Grades 7-8

Content Death and/or grief Genocide Hateful language directed at religious groups (e.g., Islamophobia, anti-Semitism)

The moving, award-winning Canada Reads book from Holocaust survivor Max Eisen, now adapted for young readers.

Tibor “Max” Eisen was born in Czechoslovakia into an Orthodox Jewish family. He lived in a compound with his parents, his two younger brothers, his baby sister, his paternal grandparents and his uncle and aunt. Life was far from perfect, but it was relatively peaceful.

But in the spring of 1944—the morning after the family’s Passover Seder—officers forcibly removed Eisen and his family from their home. They, and thousands of other Jewish people, were brought to a brickyard and later loaded onto crowded cattle cars bound for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Fifteen-year-old Max lost his entire family, but he survived the selection process and went on to endure back-breaking slave labour and the infamous Death March in January 1945.

Max eventually survived his painful ordeal. And he knew he had to keep the very last promise he made to his father: to tell the world what happened at Auschwitz. By Chance Alone is the result of this promise.