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THE BOY WHO DARED by Susan Campbell Bartoletti


by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-439-68013-4
Publisher: Scholastic

Spun off from interviews with survivors as well as published sources, Bartoletti crafts a novel closely based on the true story of Helmuth Hübener, a German teen who stood up to the Nazis and paid with his life. Written in present-tense flashbacks, the tale traces the development of Helmuth’s outlook from childhood delight in playing with toy soldiers within the safe confines of his closely knit Mormon family to ill-concealed fury as Hitler’s rise brings mounting violence against Jews, suppression of books and foreign news and a general climate of fear and mistrust. He resorts at last to anonymous pamphleteering, and his eventual capture brings imprisonment, beatings and a trial at which he manages to save two of his friends from death penalties. A long author’s note and a suite of photos cap this inspiring tale of conscience and courage. Pair it with Bartoletti’s Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler’s Shadow (2005). (Historical fiction. 11-13)