Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Boy Who Dared

The Boy Who Dared
By Susan Campbell Baroletti
Scholastic Press, 2008. 202 pgs. Young Adult

In Nazi Germany, some people recognized Nazi propaganda and violence for what it was--a violation of civil rights and a bunch of lies to cover the truth. Helmuth Hubener, a teenager, was one of those people. Troubled by the Nazis and their beliefs and adhering to his own beliefs (he was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints) he only reluctantly participated in the Hitler Youth (a requirement for all German youth), and, after listening to illegal BBC broadcasts about the war, began writing and distributing anti-Nazi pamphlets. Caught, he was sentenced to death but was at peace with his decision to tell the truth.

Based on the true story of Helmuth Hubener (whose last name actually wasn't Hubener for much of his life), this book is an intriguing look at how those who didn't support the Nazis might struggle with their own conscience--on the one hand, they wanted to protect themselves and their families, but on the other, how could they stand by as the Nazi madness spread? This is an inspiring story, and while occasionally, the writing felt a little simplistic to me, the message is powerful.

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