By: Suzy Zail
Published by: Black Dog Books
Published: May 2014
ISBN: 9781922179999


The story of a young Jewish boy who must learn to trust others to survive. Based on a true story.

Fourteen-year-old Alexander Altmann doesn't need to look at the number tattooed on his arm. A10567: he knows it by heart. He also knows that to survive Auschwitz, he has to toughen up.

When he is given the job of breaking in the commander's new horse, their survival becomes intertwined. Alexander knows the animal is scared and damaged, but he must win its trust. If he fails, they will both be killed.


Suzy Zail's first novel, 'The Wrong Boy', was on our Standing Order in 2012 and was then nominated for the CBCA Shortlist for Older Readers in 2013. 'The Wrong Boy' looked at the life of a Jewish musician boy in a concentration camp during WWII, who was then lucky enough to avoid death.

'Alexander Altmann A10567' is somewhat similar in that our lead character is a young horseman who is taken out of camp each day to tend to the commander's horses and give the officer's children rides.

While this genre is rather prevalent, the fact that Suzy places the reader in a situation where the lead character has another interest makes the outcome much more plausible.

Another wonderfully written story with a well crafted plot that will appeal to all secondary school students.

This book was included in our May 2014 Secondary Standing Order selection.

Reviewed by Rob