I didn’t have to think for more than a moment when I contemplated which book has meant the most to me, or had the biggest effect on me. It’s Night, by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. I read Night in tenth grade. I knew of the Holocaust, of course. But Night plunged me into the fear and darkness and horror of what happened during WWII. The book changed me. It gave rise to my nascent sense of justice and my appreciation for the power of the human spirit. It brushed off the waning vestiges of childhood naivete and opened my eyes.
From the Amazon description: In Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night, a scholarly, pious teenager is wracked with guilt at having survived the horror of the Holocaust and the genocidal campaign that consumed his family. His memories of the nightmare world of the death camps present him with an intolerable question: how can the God he once so fervently believed in have allowed these monstrous events to occur? There are no easy answers in this harrowing book, which probes life’s essential riddles with the lucid anguish only great literature achieves. It marks the crucial first step in Wiesel’s lifelong project to bear witness for those who died. You can find the book HERE.
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