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Thirteen year old Hendrik and his family have hidden their true identity as Jews and are living as Catholics in Budapest during WWII. One day, in a burst of loyalty, Hendrik reveals that his name is in fact Jakob and he is Jewish. It is a choice with drastic consequences. It not only puts his whole family in danger but it also severs the ties with his best friend Ivan.

Throughout the horrific months that follow, it is Jakob’s passion for revenge against Ivan that fuels his will to survive. However, unknown to Jakob, Ivan had made a choice of his own on that fateful day – a choice that changes everything.

The Choice is a story of consequences, friendship and a young man’s search for identity. Inspired by a true story



Awards and Recognition


  • City of Ottawa Arts Funding Grant, 2013

  • Shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association's Best Children's Book of the Year Award for 2016.

  • The Manitoba Young Reader's Choice award nominee


"Clark makes wise narrative choices in presenting life at Auschwitz... The Choice is an excellent historical novel." - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Deftly written for young readers… very highly recommended for both school and community library collections." - Midwest Book Review

"The Choice is recommended reading for young readers and it is good reading for adults too... [Kathy Clark] opens the door for all types of important conversations about history, consequence of actions, seeking revenge, the significance of religion, culture and values, thinking for yourself and taking responsibility for your own choices." - Edmonton Jewish News

"Set in Budapest, The Choice provides a unique perspective to the Holocaust… Educators and librarians hoping to engage readers with historical fiction will want to add this novel to their shelves." - VOYA Magazine

"The ending of the story brings both validation and realization of how the human spirit can triumph even under unfathomable atrocities, and how the choices we make in life can change everything." - Historical Novels Review

"The Choice clearly demonstrates the choices that a boy on the verge of manhood had to make during the Holocaust.... But the strength of the book lies in the emotional content, the relationship between Jakob and Ivan, and Jakob and Levi." - Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

"This was an outstanding book for anyone interested in the Holocaust and a gripping narrative." - Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

"... this well-written story should captivate many young minds. There are historical explanations offered, a map and photographs of key places are included, and the story is both exciting and believable." - Canadian Teacher Magazine



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