Book Review 4: The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Posted August 29, 2009 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 0 Comments

Book Review 4:  The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell BartolettiThe Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Published by Scholastic Press on February 1, 2008
Genres: YA Historical Romance
Pages: 202
Source: Bookstore Employee Checkout
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: five-stars

A youth in Nazi Germany tells the truth about Hitler.
Bartoletti has taken one episode from her Newbery Honor Book, Hitler Youth, and fleshed it out into a full novel.
When 16-year-old Helmut Hubner listens to the BBC news on an illegal short-wave radio, he quickly discovers Germany is lying to the people. But when he tries to expose the truth with leaflets, he's tried for treason. Sentenced to death and waiting in a jail cell, Helmut's story emerges in a series of flashbacks that show his growth from a naive child caught up in the patriotism of the times, to a sensitive and mature young man who thinks for himself.

The Boy Who Dared is actually a novel based on a true story of a German boy. He actually belonged to the Hitler Youth. He wasn’t really a Nazi, he didn’t agree with most of what they did, especially once he started seeing friends and neighbors being mistreated for seemingly no reason. The story begins with the main character named Helmuth Hubener in prison. He is waiting for them to come to his door and say it is time for him to go, which means he is being executed. As he waits in this prison he flashes back to when he was younger, the end of World War I. He wants to be a soldier because of what has happened. He is very loyal to his country, something that is supposedly one of the Mormon’s 13 Articles of Faith. Helmuth and his family are members of the Church of Latter Day Saints. An interesting thing I learned in this book, and I assume it is true, I’ll have to go look it up, but supposedly the 11th article says that all people have the right to worship how, where, and what they want. So it would seem Mormons are supposedly more tolerant of other religions? At least that was how Helmuth seemed to be raised. Not sure, they’re also supposed to support their country, yet the Mormons I know won’t pledge allegiance to the flag, and don’t celebrate holidays. Wondering where that came from? If what is told about this religion in this book is true.

But I like how the book touches on the fact that he joins the Hitler Youth because you’re expected to. He also wonders about why he and others keep quiet instead of doing things for the Jews. And in the end, he tries to take actions on what he believes, and he faces the consequences bravely, doing his best to keep his friends from suffering what he eventually suffers, death.

This will be another high recommendation for me.

My next book that I started this morning and I am more than halfway through is Suck it Up by Brian Meehl. I hope to have a review on that tomorrow keeping myself on track, almost a day ahead. I will also check out another book at work tonight to start after Suck it Up.

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