Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti - ADVISABLE

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell The Boy Who Dared, 192 p. Scholastic, 2008.

Language - PG, Violence - PG.


Helmuth Huebner was a just a young German boy during the early days of Hitler's rise to power. As the pressure of the beginnings of WWII ramp up, Helmuth's mother remarries - a military man fairly high within Hitler's power structure. While Helmuth joins the Hitler Youth as a way to please his mother and look like he is doing what is expected of him, a part of him keeps wondering whether all of this is right. When he "borrows" his soldier brother's contraband radio, a different world opens up and Helmuth is determined to make a difference and open his countrymen's eyes to the truth. Aided by two friends from his church, they undertake a daring plan - a plan that could very well get them executed for treason.

I have read Helmuth's story before; one of his companions lives in Utah and wrote a YA novel about his experiences a few years ago. Bartoletti handles the Mormon aspects of the book just right - not preachy, just what you need to understand. World War II should not be forgotten and Helmuth deserves to be remembered.

Cindy, Library-Teacher.

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