Sarah's Stars

Susan Campbell Bartoletti. The Boy Who Dared
Scholastic  $19.99  ISBN 978-0-439-68013-4  202 pg.
Reviewed by Joe, Age 13

Later, the black Mercedes carrying Helmuth threads through the Hammerbrook streets. Helmuth prays Oma isn't home, so she won't see his bruised face, but she is home, and she cries out and rushes to him, reaching for him. "Helmuth, what have you done?" 

Helmuth is a young man when the Nazis begin to rise to power in 1940. As he grows older the Nazis treat people less and less fairly. One day Helmuth's brother Gerhard brings home a shortwave radio, a banned radio during the wartime and when Helmuth asks to listen to it, his brother refuses. Breaking the radio law means extreme punishment. Soon, in his hatred of Hitler, Helmuth brings the radio out and starts listening to it and then starts to type up the news that he hears.

The Boy Who Dared was a good read because it showed that not all Germans supported the Nazi ruling. In this historical fiction story, a boy decides to fight back. The Boy Who Dared was interesting because it was told in flashbacks, which kept me reading. It grasped my attention at the beginning and kept me reading throughout the book. The characters were interesting and I was able to believe them because Bartoletti had written them up so well. It was easy to see the story in my mind; the details given allowed me to see almost every scene in my mind. The story was believable because at the end of the book there were pictures of Helmuth, his friends and family.

The Boy Who Dared is one of Susan Bartoletti's many award-winning books, which is based on real events. Susan discovered Helmuth's story while writing Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow.  Susan Bartoletti lives in Moscow, PA, with her husband and two children and is a Newbery Honor Book author. I think this book is good for ages 12 and up because kids under 12 may not have learned about the Holocaust.

I give The Boy Who Dared three and one-half stars out of 5.


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