His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg
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His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  184 ratings  ·  62 reviews
An amazing and inspirational World War II story about how one man saved the lives of many.

Raoul Wallenberg’s name may not be a universally familiar one, but the impact he had is immeasurable. Wallenberg was a Swedish humanitarian who worked in Budapest during World War II to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. He did this by issuing protective passports and housing Jews in bui...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 16th 2012)
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Joan
Apr 05, 2012 Joan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history lovers, uplifting story lovers
At first the free verse arrangement put me off. However, it did work for this book. The combination of less text with fascinating illustrations worked very well. The designer of this book deserves a lot of praise. The fact that there was less text isn't a criticism. In fact, it may be a bonus for getting reluctant readers hooked on the book.

I was crying during a lot of this. Every now and then someone just is by nature a really good person, a "lamed Vav" if you know the Jewish belief about righ...more
Alex Baugh
In January, I was very pleased to learn that Louise Borden and her book His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg had been named winner of the 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers by the Association of Jewish Libraries. The Sydney Taylor Book Awards are given annually to those outstanding works that authentically portray the Jewish experience.

Born into a relatively well-to-do family of bankers in Stockholm, Sweden in 1912, Raoul Wallenberg was always excited and curious about everything and his...more
Julie Rand
Concise poetic language combined with historic and contemporary photographs, documents, and maps brings Raoul Wallenberg’s story to life. I knew him as a man who’d done great things during World War II and whose fate was a mystery but sadly I really didn’t know anything about his life. I felt ashamed to recognize this gap in my knowledge of WWII history and glad to learn more about him.

Borden’s book felt like a striking departure from your ordinary biography. It didn’t have the same seat-of-your...more
Ann
This book is the definitive juvenile biography of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. While serving as Sweden's special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory saving tens of thousands of lives. Author Borden has a unique and appealing technique. (She also created the critically acclaimed title, The Journey That Saved Curious George.) The dou...more
Alicia
A fascinating nonfiction mystery about what became of Raoul Wallenberg after years of service in helping Jews escape the war using his Swedish connections, signatures, passports, and "trickery". He worked so hard without much direction but with a lot of passion in convincing people of his legitimacy and authority, with his signature carrying weight, his briefcase with addresses and signatures, to try to stop the atrocities of war.

Ironically, the book does not play as a mystery. It's not until t...more
Julia Reynolds
I guess I am one of those Americans who needs to study more history, because I had never heard of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat in Budhapest during the later part of World War II who spearheaded the Swedish (and other “neutral countries”) efforts to get visas, passports, and other documents to Hungarian Jews to help them avoid mistreatment or deportation by the Hungarian police/military, allied with Hitler and the Nazis. The man put up people in apartment buildings, signed thousands and t...more
Richie Partington
17 June 2011 HIS NAME WAS RAOUL WALLENBERG: COURAGE, RESCUE, AND MYSTERY DURING WORLD WAR II by Louise Borden, Houghton Mifflin, January 2012, 144p., ISBN: 978-0-618-50755-9

"Raoul told Per that he had an even better idea:
the Swedes would change the letter of protection
into a blue and yellow passport.
They would keep the three crowns of Sweden
but add a photo of the passport holder
and the Swedish minister's personal signature.
Raoul hoped that the Nazis
would respect a fancy document.

"The two friend...more
Brenda Lower
This was an interestingly presented biography of a man during WWII. Raoul was from Sweden, traveled a lot as he grew up and learned several languages. He used all of his skills to help the Jews in Budapest to lessen their suffering and save their lives.
I really liked this because of the different setting for the book, a perspective I had never read about before. Many other books are set in Germany or England during this time, but I learned a lot about this aspect of the war through this book.
I...more
Daniel L.
An Excellent Example for Young Readers

Children learn best from example; biographies are an excellent way to provide examples of supremely good deeds. And Raoul Wallenberg's story is certainly one worth knowing about. Ms. Borden tells of the life and deeds of Wallenberg in poetic free verse, with plenty of illustrations to make the book take in by young readers. Most appealing is the portrayal of Wallenberg as a boy, which is how he is presented on the cover. The young reader can readily apprecia...more
Adrienne
Swedish-born Raoul Wallenberg spent his youth traveling the world and learning several languages, both things that made him an ideal candidate to help when Hungarian Jews were about be rounded up by the Nazis and sent to the concentration camps. Wallenberg was sent to Hungary to work at the Swedish legation, where he quickly got to work printing thousands of passes that proclaimed the bearers to be under the protection of the Swedish government, therefore preventing the Nazis from hauling them o...more
Barbara
Before reading this book, I knew absolutely nothing about the Swede who risked his life to rescue Jews in Hungary during the Holocaust. In brief text set up to resemble a novel in verse, the author describes the early upbringing of this brave man who was born to privilege. Thanks to his grandfather's influence, he traveled widely and eventually was able to communicate in five languages. Since Sweden remained neutral during WWII, it would have been easy for Raoul Wallenberg to remain detached fro...more
Alan
The information at the back of the book states that the author spent 10 years researching this book, so I was expecting an extensive treatment in the biography of this amazingly brave and courageous man. What I got was more of an outline than a book.

I was somewhat shocked when I received this rather thin, large-format book (10" x 7.5"). When I opened it up it looked like it was one long poem, but it was just formatted in a very non-traditional way. The text is completely left-justified, and bre...more
Christina
An excellent biography of the diplomat who saved thousands of Jewish lives in Budapest during World War II. I had heard of him before but I had no idea of the extent of his efforts, and this book does an excellent job of explaining the circumstances of the Jews' plight during the siege of Budapest, and how the Swedish and other neutral national diplomats worked to save them. The book tells of Raoul's childhood and upbringing and how he learned five languages and was a world traveler by the time...more
Nina
A wonderful story about an unknown hero, who used his skills, trickery, and courage to help save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during WWII. His story of bravery and compassion is inspiring and a powerful message to the world. Written in free verse with countless complementary pictures, this biography would serve well as a cornerstone book in Social Studies during history units of WWII and the Holocaust.
babyhippoface
Raoul Wallenberg, who grew up in Sweden, traveled the world as a teenager, and learned to speak multiple languages fluently, was also a hero of great magnitude. He used his influence to secure the safety of tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust by issuing schutzpasses (passports) and boldly lobbying government officials for their freedom before he was captured by the Russians in 1947. Although his true fate remains unknown and his name is by no means a household word, there are at least...more
Andrew
I've know the broad outlines of the story of Raoul Wallenberg since I was a teenager, but I really didn't have a good idea about many of the details. This book is written for a young reader, so it doesn't have a wealth of depth, but it still does a good job of showing Wallenberg's life and personality, so we understand how he became one of the great heroes of the Second World War. His efforts to save the Jews of Hungary remain a truly heroic humanitarian effort. His mysterious disappearance (and...more
Melissa
One of our area libraries was talking about this author and what an excellent book this was for children regarding people who decided to make a difference during WWII. This biography is about the life of one man from Sweden whose education, family and business and political influences helped saved thousands of Jewish people from Nazi labor and death camps. Filled with maps, pictures of passports and documents, and newly discovered photography from a Russian prison, this books shows how one man d...more
Julie
I happened across this in the library. I had often meant to read something about this hero, so I picked it up. I was glad I did. It was well written, had a lot of good pictures and now I feel like I understand this man's role in trying to save Jews during WW II.
Martha
As I read this non-fiction book, I kept thinking about the children sledding down the hill with their jackets filled with money as the Nazis looked on. Wallenberg did much to rescue the Jews living in Hungary. This story, written in prose, tells his story.
Heidi
I always enjoy a well-written, well-researched nonfiction book about something in history that I knew nothing of. This book fits that description. There are so many aspects of the Jewish discrimination and persecution (particularly in WWII) that I do not know. Many of us are aware, but we don't know the exact details. And so many terrible things happened to so many in several different countries. I didn't really know anything about Hungary's part in WWII, so this book was very insightful for me...more
Belann
Borden has created a thoroughly accessible book in this free-verse account of the life of Raoul Wallenberg. In this age of internet reading and sound bites, students will rarely pick up a book with too much text. This may be sad, but nevertheless true. The free verse makes it easy to read, but the information contained is rich with detail about this courageous hero of WW II. The book also contains important photographs and documents, including one of the famous Schutaz-Pass's (passports) that Ra...more
Shannon Grieshaber
I mean no disrespect by giving this book only two stars. It was a very well researched book and was filled with excellent information, I just can't say that I enjoyed it. I did appreciate learning about an unknown hero of the Holocaust, much like Oscar Schindler.

The format of this book was set up like a middle school research-type book. The lexile is high for a middle-school level book (1080 - 10th grade), which would make it an excellent addition to the library/curriculum for middle school (esp...more
Elaine
This is a nonfiction book classified as a TEEN book in our library. The first page hooked me, and I just had to read on! It is written in verse, highlighted by period photos, documents, etc., so the content flows quickly, without an overabundance of factual detail to bog the reader down. An intriguing and not so well-known story about an unsung hero from WWII, Raoul Wallenberg. He was a Swedish national who traveled to Hungary to rescue Jews. I normally avoid the normal lexicon of Holocaust book...more
Katherine Bates
Our quest continues. I learned so much from this one. Always heard his name but never knew about him. Now I do and so does Liam.
Heather
Fabulous book. The format makes it very easy to read, and the book is gorgeous to look at. Raoul Wallenberg's story is fascinating, and it has me wondering why we have movies like Schindler's List, about Schindler who had not the greatest moral compass, and yet we don't have feature films about Wallenberg. Something's wrong here! Props to Louise Borden for making sure that Raoul Wallenberg becomes more than just a side note in youth books about WWII. This is highly recommended for any library co...more
Sarah
There's a ton of information packed into this book, but it's so readable and engaging. The history of Hungary during WWII is complicated and confusing (I still don't have it all straight after living in Budapest for seven years) but Borden's uncluttered narrative, focusing on the human drama of Wallenberg's heroic effort to save thousands of Jews, makes it all feel very accessible.

The text is written in narrow short paragraphs, almost like free verse, and frequent captioned photos break up the...more
Faye
I thought this was very interesting.
AnnieM
People read for entertainment or to learn something new.

This, while not traditionally entertaining, it is engaging, well written, and educational.

It is horrible that, i haven't hear of this courageous man and all he did to see that are good and safe. All the WWII, information I have read and we just now crossed.

I recommend this for any reader. There area photos and memorabilia.

Seriously good. He is like one of the nicest people. Anyone who isn't impressed by this book cant be friend.
Anne
4.5 stars. Fascinating and important subject for a biography for young people. Wallenberg has long been a hero of mine, but this book made a real impression, and I learned new details about his life and work. Beautiful graphic design and photo selection draws the reader in. Spare text is presented in a free-verse poetry format - at times it seems that's perfect to complement the graphic approach to the story, but at other times it leaves me wishing for more details.
Jennifer
This book was a great introduction to the life and bravery of Raoul Wllenberg. However, because of the scant amount of text, it was just that, and nothing else. I would have loved to have seen more details in the writing to make the story pull me in more, but I did love that there were so many photos and illustrations to accompany the story. Overall, it's a good read, but I feel like I need to read another book to get a grasp on the whole story.
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7722
There were already two Louises in my family when I was born: my mother and my grandmother, Nana, who lived with us when I was growing up. So early on, I was given the name Leezie. This is a name that my family still calls me. Years later, my niece was born and also named Louise. Then there were four of us with the same name! Louise is a fine name to have except that people often spell it incorrect...more
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