Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Boy Who Dared

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

This book is a fictionalized account of a true story told through a series of flashbacks. The "present" day is October 1942 and Helmuth is 17 years old. The flashbacks start years earlier when Helmuth was about three and sees a soldier on the street. Through the flashbacks we see first a young boy who supports Hitler and the Nazi regime, question the regime, to finally fights the regime.

I didn't really know anything about this book when I picked it up, but I found it so interesting that I read it in an afternoon. What an amazing kid. Beginning at 16 he did what he thought was necessary to bring an end to Hitler, and hopefully the war. I can't claim anything as significant for my 16th year of life.

I didn't love the format of this story. For some reason the flashback format seemed to take away from it a bit (most people seem to have liked it though). However, as I got more and more into the story, I found that I simply rushed through the present day scenes, which are quite short, in order to get back to the story and see what was going to happen. I was pretty sure what was going to happen, but I wanted so badly for it to be different.

My favorite part of the book is the lengthy author's note at the end, where Bartoletti is able to include more details about Helmuth and his friends and family. The pictures of Helmuth at the age he was arrested blew me away.

Very enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
picture taken from Maw Books


Chain Reader said...

Sounds interesting. I love the cover!

Laura H said...

This one is on my TBR list.

Susan said...

I've never heard of this one, but it sounds really interesting. Thanks for the recommendation!