22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2008
The Boy Who Dared
Helmuth stands ready. Quietly, with dignity and courage, he looks up at the guillotine. He knows he did the right thing.
The Boy who dared takes place in Germany during World War Two right when Hitler comes in power. Helmuth, the main character breaks the law and listens to the British radio, his loyalty and thinking changes for the worse of his countryman. I guaranty that you have never read a book like this.
This book amazed and shocked me till the end. The plot was very well planed and the flow of the book was amazing. I acutely felt like I was in the book living the life of
Helmuths life. It was wonderfully written and well thought of. I recommend this book to any one who doesn't mined a slow beginning and loves history. Every time I had to put down this book I couldn't stop thinking about it. The only thing I hate knowing fact that this was a true story and that he was a real who thought he could change history. So, my final review, two thumbs up.
- Erik o.
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2008
I couldn't put this book down once I started it. The incredible courage Helmuth had -- as a teenager!-- to do what he could against the Nazis during WWII in Germany was staggering. And since its a historical novel based so carefully on Helmuth Hübener's real life, it gave me lots to think about. Would I be this brave in this kind of situation? Honestly, I really don't think so. What makes a hero? What freedoms do I take for granted? How can people be so cruel to one another?
I LOVED this book and everything it made me think and feel.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2008
This historical fiction is based on the true life of Helmuth Hubener, who made leaflets against the Nazis during WW2. I enjoyed this book and like how the author included one important fact of Hubener life, his faith. This story shows the courage of one teen who was willing to stand up to something he thought was evil.
At the end of the book is interesting information on Helmuth and his friends. Also photos, some that are chilling.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2010
Amazing! I could not put this book down. What a brave teenager. If you are one of many people who ask themselves, "Why did so many Germans just stand by and let the Nazis commit atrocities?", this book is for you. You can see through the eyes of those who were deceived, those who were silenced by fear, and those who dared to oppose the Nazis and paid the price. It is an exciting, shocking, heart-wrenching story. And it's true! These were real people and real experiences. Wow. If you want to teach your children about courage, compassion, facing adversity with dignity, and gratitude for their freedom and prosperity, share this book with them. Helmuth and his friends are an inspiration.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2009
As Helmuth sits in his prison cell awaiting a death sentence, he recounts his life as it leads up to his rebellious choices.
In Helmuth's world you can't say bad stuff about the government, you can't write or read things criticizing the government, freedom of speach is gone, and the Gestpo [police] constantly bully people into bending to their will. What will? The will of the Nazis. Helmuth lives in Germany during Hitler's rule in the 1930s-1940s, and he is not happy about it either. Everything Hilter does is supposedly "good" for the Fatherland. But does that seriously include killing Jews, imprisoning/murdering fellow Germans, filling minds of false "honor" and "duty" to their country, and trying to control half the world?
Helmuth sees lies and he wants others to see the truth-but will it all be worth it in the end?
The Boy Who Dared pries deep into Nazi Germany where so many believe in "protecting" Germany from Communism, Jews, etc.; yet there are some-like sixteen year old Helmuth Hubener-that see past the lies of Hitler. This book is based on the true story of Helmuth's life and how he sought to uncover the truth.
There always has been corrupt governments and dictators and their will always be. After The Great War (or WWI) Germany was in great need of a leader. Hitler's patriotic and promising words of "hope" made him leader, but Germany (and the rest of the world) paid for it. With his twisted ways and corrupt thinking, the world will forever remember ONE of the cruelest leaders, Adolf Hitler; will the world forget to spot another "Hitler" and his corrupt government? This is what this book told me. What will it tell you?
Age Group: YA, ages 13+ Genre: Historical (WWII)
Content: Graphic reality and mild violence
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2009
"to death and loss of his civil rights during his lifetime." That is what Helmuth Hubener was sentenced to, just for doing what he believed in.
Helmuth is a high school graduate "criminal" according to the Nazis. Since the minute Hitler was elected he did not believe in him. Helmuth's graduation essay was the greatest in the class, an A+. Maybe this is why he was sentenced as an adult for listening to enemy radios and distributing so called false news. Mutti was Helmuth's caring mom. Helmuth had a love/hate relationship his older brothers, Garhard and Hans. Hugo was Helmuth's step-dad who is 100% Nazi. Helmuth was a trusting courageous friend who loved to bend the laws like a kid with rulers.
This is a thrilling historic fiction novel based on World War II, and the innocent Germans. I think Bartoletti did an amazing job in The Boy Who Dared of showing Helmuth's courage. Although, the question is will Helmuth end up like many innocent victims to Hitler or will he get lucky? I would strongly recommend this book to a pre-teen boy who loves history or wars just like me because I flat-out loved this mind blowing novel.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2009
Compared to Anne Frank, Oscar Schindler or the White Rose, the story of young Helmuth Hübener is little known. There have been a few biographies written on him and the soon-to-be movie starring Haley Joel Osmont might shed some light on this heroic young man. Two well-known authors: Michael Tunnel and now Susan Campbell Bartoletti. Both have written books on Hübener, only this time it is geared toward younger audiences.
The "Boy Who Dared," begins with Helmuth in prison and his story is told through flashbacks of his short life. He comes from a broken home; his mother is divorced and she never married his father. His two older brothers are average boys, they are loyal to Germany and Hitler. When a soldier/Nazi enthusiast enters his mother's life, the dire situation in his country only confuses him more. Helmuth is not satisfied with being told what to believe and how to think, he can do that on his own. He manages to get a hold of a radio and listens to the BBC, and radio stations in Switzerland and Russia. His realizes that the German public is being lied to and takes it upon himself to write anti-Nazi leaflets. He enlists his two best friends, Rudi and Karl to distribute them. Like most in the German resistance, he is discovered and arrested. Helmuth, Rudi and Karl must face the infamous People's Court; so that his friends won't be punished too severely, Helmuth takes the fall and is sentenced to death. At seventeen years old, he was the youngest person in Nazi history to be executed by the guillotine.
At the age when most teens wander away from God and church, Helmuth, Rudi and Karl are particularly religious. They belong to the Mormon church; the author nor the characters never promote the denomination and yet they firmly believe that God would not want them to take part in a movement that does not please Him. When the rest of the world considered what was evil good and their own parents succumbed to Nazi propaganda, three young men chose to do what was right rather than what was popular.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2009
This book is about a German boy named Helmuth Who is about to be executed. Helmuth tells us the events that led him to this point through a series of flashbacks interspersed with moments from this, his last day on earth. Helmuth tells us about Hitler's rise to power through the eyes of himself, a boy growing up in Germany just before World War II and in the early days of the war, and how it seemed to him that Hitler's actions didn't always match his words and his promises, although the German people see Hitler as their only hope out of the poverty ans dispair that has plagued them since losing World War I and the Treaty of Versailles. From a young age, Helmuth knows that he will somehow fight for the fatherland, Germany, when he is older, because he loves Germany and all things German. He joins the Jungvolk, the junior Hitler Youth organization, and then later the Hitler Youth when he is a bit older, even though he doesn't like what the Nazis are doing to the Jews or agree with Hitler and the Nazis much of the time, including the fact that they hide the truth from the German people about what they are doing and how the war is really going for them, and how the Nazis reward people who denounce each other to the Gestapo. Does gaining security have to mean losing freedoms? If Helmuth truly loves his country, is his real duty to the Nazis or to Germany itself and the German people? As the title of the novel says, the story is based on a true story. I thought the book was really well done, and I enjoyed it, even though I knew all along how it would end.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2008
This book was exceptionally written, giving you an instant connection to the character. Which, realizing from the beginning that this is based upon a REAL person's life, the ending is extremely difficult and emotional. I knew going into the book, how it was going to end; however, I still wasn't prepared for it- so have some kleenex handy before you reach the end. This book definitely sticks with you for days afterwards, and I couldn't help but wonder what could drive a government to committ such actions against its own people? And, how could so many people just go along with it?
I can understand how Helmuth thought; simply wanting other people to know the truth, and hoping he could help to stop the insane war. However, he simply underestimated the capacity for evil and cruelty within the Nazi regime. If he had lived, I think he would have been become a great leader in post-war Germany.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2011
Helmuth Hubener thought that Hitler was going to fix Germany, but the longer Hitler was in power, the more Helmuth realized that there was social injustice happening.
Based on a true story, The Boy Who Dared, accounts Helmuth's life and the choices he makes. Told in flashback, I felt that some of the suspense is taken away since you know Helmuth's current situation right from the beginning of the story; however, even with knowing the outcome, I wanted to read to figure out how Helmuth got there.
The exposition of the book helped me understand the extent of Helmuth's society at the time which made me even more sympathetic then I would have been just jumping into Helmuth's life. Although we all know about World War II and the Holocaust, unless you have read other books on World War II Germany, you may not understand the extent of Hitler's power and brainwashing. With The Boy Who Dared, we follow Helmuth through his feelings about Hitler and the decisions he made.
This book is fabulous to read with the nonfiction book by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, The Hitler Youth, which recounts the history around the Hitler Youth and what Helmuth was living through.