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The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler's List Hardcover – August 27, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 510 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2013: For readers ages 11 and up, Leon Leyson’s remarkable memoir, The Boy on the Wooden Box, is the moving account of a happy childhood shattered by the Holocaust. Leyson was fortunate enough to survive, thanks largely to Oskar Schindler. As the youngest member of Schindler’s list, Leyson offers a unique perspective on the man who became his lifelong hero and his first-hand account of day-to-day existence in the factory--which did not alleviate the fear or deprivation--and his personal interaction with Schindler is powerful and special. The Boy on the Wooden Box is an important work, helping mature young readers understand the Holocaust through the life of a young person who lived it. --Seira Wilson

From Booklist

This powerful memoir of one of the youngest boys on Schindler’s list deserves to be shared. Leon Leyson grew up in Poland as the youngest of five children. As WWII breaks out, Leyson’s ingenuity and bravery, combined with the kindness of strangers and a bit of serendipity, save his life, time and again. The storytelling can at times meander, and the various reflections of his life in Poland during the war can result in a certain patchiness, but Leyson’s experiences and memories still make for compelling reading about what it was like to suffer through the Holocaust. This memoir is a natural curriculum addition to WWII units for upper-elementary- and middle-school readers. Be sure to have additional materials on hand about Oskar Schindler, as readers will want to do more research into Leyson’s story. Grades 4-7. --Sarah Bean Thompson
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 1000L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442497815
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442497818
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (510 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a moving and harrowing account of a family's survival of the Holocaust, thanks to Oskar Schindler's repeated interventions. While the story is riveting, it is told in the voice of the late Leon Leyson which allows the reader to envision the family as they struggle to survive mentally and physically the inhuman conditions, repeated disappointments and loss of family members. His service in the U.S. military and subsequent successful life among family and friends in California is a tribute to his optimism and mental fortitude.

In addition to the story which appeals not only to young people, the book is beautifully published. Not least of all are the birds that begin on the front end paper and follow throughout at the beginning of the chapters, until the two remaining fly away on the end paper. This memoir is a work of love.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A great book that lets the reader have a firsthand look at the deep heartache of a Jewish family in WWII. It is detailed enough to break your heart, but not so dark as to terrify my children. I would hand it over to my middle school aged kids and read along with them. The author ends with a great testimony to hope and healing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having heard the late Mr. Leon Leyson speak on a few occasions, I recall how the straightforwardness of his narrative would draw the listener into the experiences of a boy, who was also a Jew, facing the unfolding oppression of Nazi rule. The book captures his journey of survival, and while presented as a text for young readers, anyone who has read about the Holocaust will find here a deeply engaging story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book, beautifully written for a young reader and almost impossible to put down. I bought it for my 10-year-old (almost 11) granddaughter, Ellen, who is a strong reader, interested in history and finds herself full of questions after finishing Anne Frank's Diary recently. I'll admit that Ellen, an only child and somewhat sheltered, is "young" for her age in many respects. With the fear that this story might be too much for her, I read it first before giving it to her. I was right. These horrific stories of the Holocaust continue to shake me to my core no matter how many I read. I will save this book for a couple of years. Ellen's unstanding of the world will be a little more mature and she'll appreciate the strength and hope this young man never lost despite the nightmare he lived and so vividly describes all these years later.
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Format: Hardcover
The story of the youngest survivor from Schindler's list, Leoo Leyson, this is a wonderful book that one cannot leave out of his hands once started to read it. It worth reading! And not only for young adults. It is a must read for all those interested in the stories of the Holocaust survivors.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Boy on the Wooden Box is a magnificent book for readers not only 9-14 but years beyond. It is breathtaking, inspirational, beautifully written and edited.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an incredible story of survival and hope under the most horrific circumstances. Although published as a book for teenage readers, this is a compelling story for adults as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have ready many books about the Holocaust. This was very touching and well written. I recommend it. Thank you.
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