by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
A friendly blog reader emailed me to recommend that I read this book. Thank you, we always love a good recommendation!
The Boy Who Dared is a short historical novel about Helmuth, a young Mormon boy growing up in Nazi Germany. As Hitler rises to power and Helmuth begins to witness more and more atrocities against his own neighbors, he must decide whether to protect himself by keeping silent, or to speak out against evil. With the help of an illegal shortwave radio, a typewriter, and three courageous friends, Helmuth chooses to take a stand. How long can he keep it up without getting caught? And can he really trust the boys he's confided in?
Because this book is based on a true story, there are no magical happy endings here. But there is a wonderful message of doing what's right even when it's hard, and of being cared for by God when men are working to destroy your body and spirit.
If your teens pick up this book, they will quickly get involved in the intense story and probably finish it in one day.
This book does not contain any bad language or sexuality. I rated it PG-13 because man's inhumanity to man (including beatings and interrogations) can be really hard for younger readers, so I do think this book is for ages 13 and up.
The theme of speaking out when the cost may be great and when everyone around you is silent makes this a good choice for book club.
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