Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Main Character: Helmuth Guddat Huebner
Location: Germany
Time period: 1940s
Genre: YA Fiction, Historical, World War II, Holocaust

This book tells the story of Helmuth Guddat Huebner, a teenager who resisted the Nazi regime and was executed for treason. I especially enjoyed the contrast between the behaviors of Helmuth, his brother Gerhardt, and his stepfather Hugo. Helmuth chafes under the Nazi rule almost from the very beginning and slowly eases into resistance--though with each successful step he grows bolder. Gerhardt agrees that the government is wrong but feels that loyalty to the country is supreme. Hugo is almost a caricature of a "good Nazi," loud, uncouth, and bullying, though the author's note reveals that he changed after Helmuth's death. This book pairs nicely with The Silenced by James DeVita which was inspired by teenage resistance fighters during WWII but is set the near-future.

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