The Last Train

The Last Train

A Holocaust Story

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The Last Train is the harrowing true story about young brothers Paul and Oscar Arato and their mother, Lenke, surviving the Nazi occupation during the final years of World War II. Living in the town of Karcag, Hungary, the Aratos felt insulated from the war -- even as it raged all around them. Hungary is allied with Germany to protect its citizens from invasion, but in 1944 Hitler breaks his promise to keep the Nazis out of Hungary. The Nazi occupation forces the family into situations of growing panic and fear: first into a ghetto in their hometown; then a labor camp in Austria; and, finally, to the deadly Bergen Belsen camp deep in the heart of Germany. Separated from their father, 6-year-old Paul and 11-year-old Oscar must care for their increasingly sick mother, all while trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy amid the horrors of the camp. In the spring of 1945, the boys see British planes flying over the camp, and a spark of hope that the war will soon end ignites. And then, they are forced onto a dark, stinking boxcar by the Nazi guards. After four days on the train, the boys are convinced they will be killed, but through a twist of fate, the train is discovered and liberated by a battalion of American soldiers marching through Germany. The book concludes when Paul, now a grown man living in Canada, stumbles upon photographs on the internet of his train being liberated. After writing to the man who posted the pictures, Paul is presented with an opportunity to meet his rescuers at a reunion in New York -- but first he must decide if he is prepared to reopen the wounds of his past.
Publisher: Toronto : Owlkids Books, c2013
ISBN: 9781926973623
Branch Call Number: j940.53 ARA
Characteristics: 142 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
ArapahoeKati Jan 23, 2017

A great introduction to the Holocaust for younger readers that won't overwhelm them. Highly recommend!

MickyT_13 Apr 27, 2015

When i picked up this book i just expected it to be another fact book about the war, but instead i got one of the most amazing books i have ever read. It greatly exceeded my expectations and was able to capture the heart of the reader. One of my favorite parts of the story was when Paul was able to met the liberators who had freed him, it was truly a happy ending. Although it was a very sad and depressing story (like most Holocaust stories,) it was also very deep and I had to keep reading it to the end. I greatly suggest reading this book.

katylikeskats Apr 18, 2015

As I picked up this book, I had no idea what to expect, but what I received, was beyond what I could imagine. Because of the relation between Rona Arato (Paul's wife), and Paul, I think this book had realistic, not to mention personal details that added to the plot. I thought it was really compelling, and definitely made me feel sad, but also rejoiced when I read that they were freed. As well, what better way for this man's story to end, but than to meet his liberator! This was one of the parts that really made me happy, and thankful that there are still stories like this, and hope. But, on the contrary, I think that even though this book ended well, there were 11 million stories that didn't, and probably other thousands (hopefully, and not only hundreds) of stories that go unknown. So, speaking to the future, as they say, "History repeats itself" So as the next generation lets take this as an early lesson, to always treat others with respect, and look past our differences when there is disagreement, but to our shared views. Overall, I think The Last Train was a wonderful read, one that everyone should read, just for a snapshot into the past, and what the Holocaust really was. This book really brought to life the meaning of holocaust, and the horrors of it.

loljilydoe Mar 25, 2015

This was one of my favourites this year. I could not stop turing the pages. I think I blasted through it during class because i could just not stop reading. Amazing. The way it was written with such details and incredible word choices as well. I could vivdely image all things that were happing and it made me cry, it made me smile and just like the fiction books, i was completly and utterly sucked into WWII. Everytime someone died I would jump a little and everytime a soilder barked or Paul would get in trouble I would gasp and figet. This took me like no time. I just sped through it. The holocaust was defintly not something to joke about and should be taken seriously and the effects on the familys, even those who survieved were long term defintily.

hassansyr Mar 22, 2015

I truly loved reading the book "The last Train". I kept reading page after page interested in the Author's story. After finished reading the book, I was truly grateful that I didn't have to go through these kind of situations. However, on the other hand, I felt sad about the children that had to go through these situations. Even today this is happening, in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Pakistan and other countries. I wish the conflicts in those countries will hopefully end soon. In conclusion, I enjoyed reading that book.

extreme_fangirl Mar 22, 2015

Absolutely worth reading! "The Last Train" takes you back to WWII when the Nazis were capturing the Jews and tells the story of a small family on the Holocaust. It's hard to believe what they went through and I kept having to remind myself that this event happened to real people, not fictional characters. Excellently written, "The Last Train" really captures the horrors of the Holocaust and concentration camps and is historically accurate, written with primary sources. I loved how at the end of this book, it described how the main character Paul met his liberators and shared his story to others.

Overall, "The Last Train" is an awesome book and a fantastic way to remember the past.

ariag Jan 14, 2015

I wanted to tell my librarian something then she got me to join i was not interested at first but when i did join i did not regret it! Seriously try convincing peers to join the book club even if its for this one book its so worth it this book is just amazing 10/10

MissAnnie Jun 03, 2013

Told as a novelization, this is the story of the author's husband's family. The family was first of all sent to work on a farm, and afterwards sent to a concentration camp. Reader's will learn about the events of WWII by reading about the experiences of this family.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at RPL

To Top