Friday, June 19, 2009

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti 2008

Historical Fiction
165 pages

The full title of this book is The Boy Who Dared - A Novel Based on the True Story of a Hitler Youth. This is the courageous story of Helmuth Hubener, who was executed in 1942 in Germany. He was 16 years old. His story is important because it reminds us that not all Germans stood with Adolf Hitler. There were many, like Helmuth, who recognized Hitler's madness, arrogance, and cruelty. This young man secretly worked against the Nazi's at the risk of his own life. Through Helmuth's story, we get an idea of what life was like once Hitler came to power. We see that Hitler's persecution focused not only on the Jews of Europe, but anyone who dared to disagree with him.
Bartoletti learned about Helmuth while researching Hitler Youth - Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow, a juvenile nonfiction book about the youth organization that trained the children of Germany to be staunch followers of Hitler and the Nazi government. She is an excellent writer and thorough researcher. This is a good read for both boys and girls, anyone who likes history, and particularly, LDS youth . . . because Helmuth was a member of the LDS church.

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