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A heart wrenching and intimate novel of defiance set inside the Warsaw Ghetto.


Adam Paskow is a schoolteacher forced to share a cramped one-bedroom apartment with two other families as their Jewish community is herded into the Ghetto and cut off from the rest of Warsaw in 1940.


Adam uses literature to try to help his students endure their unbearable situation, but it’s nearly impossible to focus on poetry  when they are bartering daily for food and the war is intensifying just beyond the Ghetto’s walls.

As part of a project to keep the stories of the Ghetto's residents alive, Adam begins to take testimonies from the children and others to help preserve their histories.


These testimonies teach him how to survive - even how to find joy -  in a place where young boys set up their own black markets, where young girls try to pass as Aryan, and where, in a desperate upside-down world, no choices are good ones.

Inspired by the real life archives that allowed Jewish Warsaw's stories to survive World War II.

A Read with Jenna Today Show pick

"This is a tender, heartbreaking novel that grapples with timeless questions." - The New York Times

"An extraordinary work of historical fiction" - The AP


"A masterpiece: profound, gripping, urgent, and beautiful." - Madeline Miller, bestselling author of Song of Achilles and Circe

"Despite its grim setting, We Must Not Think of Ourselves won’t repel or depress readers. The greater risk is that Grodstein’s skillful, warm-hearted storytelling will short-circuit their sleep." - The Forward

"(A) gripping historical novel" - The Washington Post

"We Must Not Think of Ourselves brings a horrifying chapter of history to readers with intimate, detailed portraits. In his detailed recording of other lives and of his own, Adam reveals that love may be found even in the starkest of situations, and he faces the hardest of choices about sacrifice: Who will you save if you can't save them all?" Shelf Awareness

"Crucial, compelling, and important"Lilith

"Delicate, warm account of a brutal, cold time, grounded in humanity, small details, and unwavering clarity"Kirkus (starred review)

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