Throughout the novel, Carol Matas effectively uses photographs as a primary symbol. Each section of the book is called "Pictures of..." a different place. The photos are used literally, as Daniel is a photographer, and the actual record he makes is important. But even when there are no photos available, Daniel composes them in his mind. These mental pictures are his memories and a key to his survival. Daniel matters as a person and as a witness to the horrors perpetuated against the Jews.
Another symbol is his favorite book, The Count of Monte Cristo. He mentions reading it over and over. The novel is about a man who is unjustly imprisoned and spends much of his time plotting revenge. Daniel thinks about revenge, but he is a different kind of person. The parallels of injustice make this a strong symbol of his situation, but he ultimately chooses a more humane path.