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The Boy Who Dared Hardcover – February 1, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–9—In the newly formed Third Reich, Hitler's initial political doctrine is filled with hopeful solutions for a country plagued with unemployment, poverty, and a post-World War I feeling of defeat. Propaganda and promises quickly turn to oppressive new laws including the required participation in the Hitler Youth. Helmuth Hübener enters the program and is at once impressed with the bravado, shiny uniforms, boots, and patriotic fever sweeping the country. But his Mormon-based teachings trigger questions in his mind about the reality behind the regime's invasions of neighboring countries, mistreatment of Jewish citizens, and closely controlled media. He creates an underground newsletter with information gathered from BBC reports using an illegal shortwave radio. As he secretly distributes the flyers throughout the town, his boldness encourages him to gather several accomplices resulting in his arrest, trial, and execution. The novel opens as he is on death row, and the story is told as a series of flashbacks. Helmuth is portrayed as a brave, outspoken voice amid a family of acquiescing brothers, mother, and new SS stepfather. Based on a real person, the novel includes black-and-white photos of Hübener and his family. Bartoletti offers another perspective on the Holocaust, demonstrating that even if the effort proves unsuccessful, the courage and convictions of a minority should be motivation to speak the truth rather than remain silent. It's a message that must be continually emphasized as a lasting legacy of the Holocaust.—Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* In Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow, Booklist’s 2005 Top of the List for youth nonfiction, 2005, Bartoletti included a portrait of Helmuth Hübener, a German teenager executed for his resistance to the Nazis. In this fictionalized biography, she imagines his story as he sits in prison awaiting execution in 1942 and remembers his childhood in Hamburg during Hitler’s rise to power. Beaten and tortured to name his friends, he remembers how he started off an ardent Nazi follower and then began to question his patriotism, secretly listened to BBC radio broadcasts, and finally dared to write and distribute pamphlets calling for resistance. The teen’s perspective makes this a particularly gripping way to personalize the history, and even those unfamiliar with the background Bartoletti weaves in–the German bitterness after World War I, the burning of the books, the raging anti-Semitism––will be enthralled by the story of one boy’s heroic resistance in the worst of times. A lengthy author’s note distinguishes fact from fiction, and Bartoletti provides a detailed chronology, a bibliography, and many black-and-white photos of Helmuth with friends, family, and members of his Mormon church. This is an important title for the Holocaust curriculum. See the Booklist interview with Bartoletti, in which she discusses how this teen’s story moved her. Grades 6-12. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; First Edition edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780439680134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439680134
  • ASIN: 0439680131
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
The Boy Who Dared
Susan Campbel

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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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
Recommend? Yes
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoy reading stories based on true life experiences. Though the end is evident from the beginning, you are taken through the life and challenges of a young German youth who wants to know and share the truth about how the Nazi's are misleading and beguiling the German people as to what is actually happening in WWII. This teenager refuses to succumb to the lies about the Jewish people and to the required behavior of the "Nazi Youth" of which he is required to become a member. He values his immediate family and his true friends. Knowing his own inevitable fate he does everything he can to save his two dear friends...who later help to tell his story. It is an excellent story to teach todays youth to think for themselves and cherish in their heart and their life what they know to be good and true and right. Not to be beguiled by the gang mentality and see that no matter what, to stand for righteousness.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
good story type of narrative more than a documentary. We knew one of the guys involved personally; he just died a few years ago, so got this book. We already had a DVD and three other books on this subject.

The world need more who do what is right and let the consequences follow.
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