This image is the cover for the book Big Lie

Big Lie

The Pulitzer Prize–nominated author recounts her Holocaust experience—her imprisonment at Auschwitz and her dramatic escape—in this book for young readers.

As World War II rages in Europe, the fighting seems far away from Isabella Leitner and her family. Only rumors of Nazi horrors have reached them, and they feel safe in the small Hungarian town of Kisvarda. That is, until March 20, 1944 . . .

Overnight, Isabella’s whole world changes. Suddenly, she must wear a yellow star, be inside by curfew, and cannot go back to school. And that’s only the beginning. Her family is rounded up by Nazi soldiers. They are put in cattle cars and taken to Auschwitz, a death camp in Poland. Only Isabella and three of her sisters are kept together, the rest of their family is forced to separate parts of the camp. Together, the four girls face their worst fears—until they get a chance at freedom.

The Big Lie offers a look at history through the eyes of a woman whose strength and hope helped her overcome the worst of human nature. Leitner’s “approach allows readers to appreciate the young Isabella’s incomprehension of the Final Solution even as she generates a coherent and compelling narrative” (Publishers Weekly).

Isabella Leitner

Isabella Leitner (1921–2009) was born and raised in Hungary. On her twenty-third birthday, she was deported to Auschwitz along with her mother, four sisters, and brother, an experience she wrote about in her acclaimed memoir Fragments of Isabella, which was published in 1978 and named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. A motion picture based on the book was produced by the Abbey Theater in Ireland. In 1945, the author immigrated to the United States and married Irving A. Leitner, who served in a US Air Force bomber squadron during World War II. The mother of two sons, Peter and Richard, whom she considered “her greatest victory over Hitler,” Leitner also wrote Saving the Fragments: From Auschwitz to New York and The Big Lie: A True Story.

Open Road Integrated Media