Monday, January 18, 2010

The Boy Who Dared

The Boy Who Dared The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Awards: Booklist Editors' Choice; NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts; YALSA Best Books for YA

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Helmuth Hubener lives in Hamburg, Germany and observes the rise to power of the Nazi Party as a young boy. As he grows older, he is forced to join Hitler Youth. He has serious objections to Hitler and the political regime, and he struggles between supporting the cause of his country and standing up for what he feels to be true within himself. 

In 1942 Helmuth was sent to prison for the production and distribution of anti-Nazi literature. This book, based on a true story, is told in flashback form while Helmuth is waiting on Death Row. When I got this book I didn't realize the protagonist was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is clear that the author has done her homework regarding both Helmuth's story and the LDS church. I appreciated all the background information and details provided regarding Helmuth's real story at the end of the book.

I like that Bartoletti decided to tackle this subject in a way that is appropriate for children. It did mean that she had to gloss over certain things, but the book is appropriate starting at around 6th grade. It is a sobering story. But the legacy of Helmuth Hubener reminds us all that truth and courage transcend death.

Also reviewed by:
Have I missed yours?

Book 6 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 5 of 50 for the RYOB Challenge
Book 4 of 50 for the YA Reading Challenge
Book 4 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 3 of 10 for the Book Awards IV Reading Challenge
Book 11 of 25 for the MG Reading Challenge
Book 2 of 12 for the Historical Fiction Challenge

Source: Purchased


Natasha @ Maw Books said...

When I started to read this book, I had no idea that that main character was LDS. Such a great surprise because it was done well!

Veens said...

Wow, I NEVER knew about Helmuth Hubener; this is really interesting!

Shweta said...

Very interesting looking premise for the story..I might try this book..

bermudaonion said...

Wow, the fact that it's based on a true story really piques my interest.

alisonwonderland said...

I've had this one on my to-read list for a while. Thanks for the positive review!

Jenny said...

This is the second time this morning I have seen a review of this book. I'm so glad I found it. I will be picking it up for my son and I next trip to the bookstore.