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The Boy Who Dared

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,235 Ratings  ·  1,426 Reviews
Day 264
It's Morning. Soft Gray light slips over the tall redbrick wall. It stretches across the exercise yard and reaches through the high, barred windows. In a cell on the ground floor, the light shifts dark shapes into a small stool, a scrawny table, and a bed made of wooden boards with no mattress or blanket. On that bed, a thin, huddled figure, Helmuth, a boy of sevent
Paperback, 202 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Scholastic Inc. (first published February 1st 2008)
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This story resonates so much because it's based on a true account of a young man named Helmuth during World War II. He is a patriotic German and can see why Hitler could be good for the country. Just like many others he gets sweeped up with the hysteria of a new hope for the broken down Germany. Slowly but surely though he comes to see what the whole regime is really about.

The book flips perspectives from the present to memories Helmuth has leading up to why he is in jail. The voice of the narra
Sep 23, 2012 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
The Boy Who Dared is about a handsome young Mormon in the Hitler Youth who was executed for operating an anti-Nazi pamphlet. This book is written in present-tense, (thou I prefer past-tense.) In italic is "present-day" - Helmuth's execution day. His life is told through flashbacks. (though this reads like a "normal" book, in present-tense.) From the very moment Hitler comes to power, Helmuth senses something is WRONG. He questions everything, a quality I admire. He doesn't just let someone easil ...more
Jul 23, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My recommendation with this book, is read the author's note first. Then read Helmut`s story. I believe it would have been better placed as an introduction, making events and Helmut all the more tangible, as you read and witness this young man's story.

And witness, as we all should.
Stacey Lucky
I am very thankful to this author for bringing this hero out in the open. I know some people say they are tired of books about WWII but I think there could never be enough..millions of innocent people and heros lost their lives and I want to read all of their storys ..they need to be heard. Helmuth is my new hero at only 17 he stood up and did something to help the innocent. The only thing I dont like is when shes talking about him being scared to die while he was waiting in his cell I think she ...more
Nov 01, 2015 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Valerie by: Cara
Been planning to read this for a while and finally did. It is set in Hamburg, Germany during WWII. This book shows that not every German citizen was for the war even though it allowed more jobs and a better economy and some did not know what was going on because of all the laws restricting outside information. We see all of this through a boy, called Helumth.

Helmuth was a real boy growing up in WWII. And it not that the author made Helmuth such a believable character, he actually seemed real. He
Feb 04, 2009 Art rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Hitler Youth, German Resistance, & Nazi Germany
Recommended to Art by: Ms. Susan Bush
What does “Fahrenheit 451”, “The Gulag Archipelago”, “1984”, and
“The Hiding Place” or perhaps you have heard of these people: Anne Frank,
Corrie Ten Boom, Dietrich Bonnehoffer, and Martin Niemoeller have in common w/”The Boy Who Dared”. These books and people, all deal with the
Theme of good people in controlling societies or government taking a
stand against evil. Ms. Bartoletti brings to life the true story of a young Hitler youth who dared to take a stand against the NAZI Government of German
William Hawrylak
Apr 06, 2016 William Hawrylak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Boy Who dared
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
This book is about a boy named Helmuth and his family who have to overcome struggles in their life. The problem is that Germany is doing terrible things to Jews because of Adolf Hitler. He has killed many and Helmuth has to try and survive. There was a war going on during this time and Helmuth is very scared of what is going to happen. In the end does Helmuth survive and does the war end read the book to find out.
Hitler: in this book Hitler has been kil
Noah Prideaux
Nov 14, 2014 Noah Prideaux rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the beginning of the book "The Boy Who Dared", by Susan Bartoletti, a boy named Helmuth is in his cell where he is flashing back to when he was younger and when Hitler was the dictator of Germany. In the beginning he started to follow Hitler's way's. When Helmuth graduated middle school the Nazi went to war and he was forced to join the young group that followed Hitler. Then he decides to fight against Hitler. After he listened to the radio he heard what was actually happening and he knew tha ...more
This book was a great follow up to Hitler Youth (same author). It is the story,made into a novel, of one of the real-life characters from Hitler Youth. Helmuth Hubener was a 16 year old boy who, along with his friends, did what they could to go against Hitler. He paid with his life. I am sure he didn't think at the time, that people would now consider him a hero, but he most definitely was. I like the way she addressed his struggle with his religious belief in "obeying, honoring and sustaining t ...more
Jan 27, 2011 RachelAnne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
The Holocaust was an inconceivably grotesque and tragic instance of human brutality and evil. Forcing children to read YET ANOTHER mediocre Holocaust narrative merely reduces to hackneyed trope the horribly personal saga of over 10 million victims and countless other perpetrators, witnesses and everyday citizens. Can't create a decent character with believable motivations? Stick him in the Holocaust and the drama of external events will carry the story and wash over your dull prose with the glos ...more
Helmuth, a member of Hitler Youth who disagreed with Nazi politics and policies, wrote and distributed pamphlets calling for resistance. For this he is imprisoned and executed, and the story is told in flashback from his prison cell. Helmuth is an incredible character – believable as an ordinary boy who grows and learns, takes responsibility, and draws upon his conscience to act in the face of evil. Helmuth’s remarkable act of courage will hopefully inspire readers to stand up for their beliefs ...more
Apr 11, 2016 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There are many reasons for a person to lie, but to have a reason to tell the truth, you must have a deep belief. And great courage.....Helmuth Hübener is a boy who dared to speak out for the truth" - from the author's note.

What an incredible story of courage. I have a love/hate relationship with books about the war because they are always so sad. But I also find them fascinating and the characters in these stories are always strong, brave and fighting for what they believe in.

Knowing that this
Jo Ann
Jan 30, 2015 Jo Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book about an actual boy in Nazi Germany who didn't feed into Hitler's lies, very interesting after reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas last month. This is the fictional account of Helmuth Huebner, based on true events from Helmuth's short life.
Hannah Christ
Mar 31, 2014 Hannah Christ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Boy Who Dared
By Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Review by Hannah Christ

I could never imagine what it must have been like to grow up during the era of Adolf Hitler, let alone what it would have been like to be a German during this turbulent time. Susan Campbell Bartoletti gives us a glimpse into the world of a German boy during the time of swastikas and oppression cloaked in national pride. Through her careful research and dedication to telling the story, we get to see the world through the eyes of
Alex Baugh
Nov 18, 2014 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
This novel opens on October 27, 1942. Helmuth Hübener, 17, has been imprisoned on death row in Plotzensee Prison, Berlin, charged with high treason against the Third Reich. He had hoped the court would show lenicency because of his age, but that hope was now gone. Sentenced to death, Helmuth recalls, in a series of flashbacks, the events in his life that led him to this day.

As a young child living in Hamburg, Helmuth hears his grandparents talk about their dislike of the Nazis and their leader,
Linda Her
May 15, 2014 Linda Her rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linda by: Mrs. Meier
I like this book. At first I didn't want to read it but as I read more, it got more interesting. I really like how it's written in two perspectives (present day and flash backs). It really makes the story more intense because as the flash backs gets closer and closer to the present day, it draws you in more and more. Which also makes the story more interesting.

Have you ever wanted to do the right thing and tell the truth but at the same time it felt so wrong to do it. Well in this book there is
Eduardo Ventura
Mar 17, 2015 Eduardo Ventura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all 15 to 20 year olds

This book is about Helmuth Hubener, an 18-year-old German boy who is in Berlin prison. The reader does not know the reason in the beginning of the book. Helmuth is having flashbacks about his childhood that is how you start to know why he went to jail. The first flashback starts when Helmuth is only 3-years-old, after the first World War when the Nazi Party started to get involved in the German government. Helmuth loved soldiers toys he wanted to be a good soldier for Germany. Helmuth lived
Anna Reid
The Boy who Dared, written by Susan Campbell Bartoletti was recognized in 2009 by the NBGS association. The story takes place in Berlin, Germany during the Hitler Youth Movement when Hitler believed that the future of Nazi Germany was the children. Helmuth Hübener is the main character in this story and he is a young boy who is fighting for the truth that is being concealed by the Nazi party. This story is very unique because it is actually told in flashbacks that Helmuth is having while he is o ...more
Dorian Lauwers
Oct 21, 2015 Dorian Lauwers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This books is historical fiction about a boy named Helmuth who stands up and tells people what's really happen to people who were breaking the law the nazis gave them to follow the author is Susan Campbell Bartoletti . The first part of the book is where Helmuth wants to fight for his country. After some time of wanting to fight for his country changed when he say people beaten for not following the rules. Helmuth got mad at a patrol leader telling them to stop sing a song that was ungerman. Af ...more
Jun 05, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: Students ages 9 and up, and history and social studies classes.
Appeal: Teachers looking for a historical fiction title to enhance a Holocaust unit. This book also appeals to students who are interested in learning about the Holocaust from a teenagers perspective.

Awards: Golden Sower Nominee 2011-2012
Ariel Uppstrom
Nov 23, 2014 Ariel Uppstrom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an awesome book! It followed a Mormon in Germany who was recruited into the Hitler Youth. He struggles with the fact that he hears Hitler and the Nazis claim one thing, but do another. He also struggles with the fact that his religion contradicts many of the Nazi policies. Though he wants to keep his family and friends safe, eventually he gets sick of the falsehoods he hears. With the knowledge he's gained from listening to an illegal radio tuned to the BBC, he distributes the informati ...more
May 13, 2014 KerriRowland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rll-528-jewish

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti is an easy read for students of grades fourth through seventh. Prior to reading the book I had made the assumption I wouldn’t like the book, I was wrong. It was difficult to look past Helmuth’s strength and courage. He was a strong little boy that had the will to try and stand up to the Nazis and Hitler, regardless of the advice of others. Helmuth’s mother, Mutti, is engaged with the Rottenfuhrer, Hugo. Helmuth uses a shortwave radio that he got fro
Jun 24, 2014 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, haunting
Here are five pieces that I thought reflected very well certain scenes of this book. Click here for a playlist of the songs.

1. Waltz No.2- Shostakovich: This playful, enchanting waltz composed by Dmitri Shostakovich reminds me of Helmuth’s childhood. The wistful air of this waltz reminds me of when he used to think about infinity, floating, and concepts that defied his age and experience. It also makes me recall of when Mutti used to tuck the three brothers in for bed, when Helmuth used to play
Ashley R.
Apr 25, 2014 Ashley R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 14, 2015 Pandora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is told in flashbacks as Helmuth awaits his execution by the NAZIs. The author discovered this true story and included it in her book Hitler Youth. The story moves between Helmuth's in prison and what he did to get there. The author tells the story in a distanced third person narration that suits the factual base of the story. I found it compelling to read as I wonder what did he do to end in prison.

The author also mixes a bit of German to help anchor the story. The story does an exce
Apr 01, 2009 Elena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This young adult book is excellent. It is a fictional story about a true person, Helmuth Huebener, who "is a boy who dared to speak out for the truth." It was so interesting, because the perspective is of a young German boy who knows in his heart of hearts that what the Nazi party does is wrong, and that people must be told the truth, despite the risk. Part of what is so fascinating/terrifying is the hold that the Nazis had on everything-even those who felt they were wrong would go along with th ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2011 Cassy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is based on a true story. Helmuth is a young LDS boy who lives with his mother and two brothers in post World War 1, Germany. There's a horrible depression going on and the people of Germany are looking for a way out. Suddenly, a beacon of hope is seen and very easily heard, as Adolf Hitler persuades the people of Germany to strengthen the Fatherland, and promises jobs, prosperity, happiness and peace.

Now, Helmuth is very excited about all of this and wants to participate in the parad
May 19, 2016 Suzan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
An excellent young adult novel based on the true story of Helmuth Hubener, a German teenage boy who dared to tell the truth, a young man who would not keep silent. The book helps you to understand how Hitler came to power and why people accepted and adored him. Though not in depth, it also gives the reader a glimpse of how the Jews were treated...the hatred people had for them, their homes, businesses, and synagogues ransacked and destroyed, made to wear a yellow star of David, rounded up and se ...more
Casey Strauss
Jul 27, 2010 Casey Strauss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish
Its 1942 and 17 year old Helmuth Hubener sits on death row, having been found guilty of conspiracy to commit high treason and treasonable support of the enemy. As he sits in his cell, he thinks back on his life in Hamburg, Germany, and the events that brought him to this point. He thinks back to when Hitler first came into power, when he was a young boy, and the hope he brought to his family amongst poverty and unemployment. Initially, Helmuth enjoys the new changes in his life; he is fascinated ...more
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Susan Campbell Bartoletti is an American writer of children's literature. She was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but eventually the family ended up in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. Susan started as an English teacher and inspired many students before deciding to pursue writing in earnest. She sold her first short story in 1989. Three years later in 1992 she published her first pict ...more
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“The worst experience can bring out a person's deepest strength.” 12 likes
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