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Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
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Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  374 ratings  ·  104 reviews
In a stirring chronicle, Doreen Rappaport brings to light the courage of countless Jews who organized to sabotage the Nazis and help other Jews during the Holocaust.

Under the noses of the military, Georges Loinger smuggles thousands of children out of occupied France into Switzerland. In Belgium, three resisters ambush a train, allowing scores of Jews to flee from the catt...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 2012 by Candlewick Press
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Newbery 2013
94th out of 116 books — 1,106 voters
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The Holocaust - Fiction and Non
113th out of 126 books — 39 voters

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Community Reviews

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Margo Tanenbaum
In a stunning work of nonfiction for young people, award-winning author Doreen Rappaport has just published an ambitious new work profiling little-known true stories of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, a book that took her six years to research and write. Her extensive research for this project included interviews with some of the survivors whose stories are told in this volume.

This is a massive topic for a book for young people, but Rappaport manages to make it comprehensible by dividin...more
Charles Weinblatt
Not all Jews walked obediently into Hitler’s gas chambers during the Holocaust. There are many stories of Jews who took up arms and fought the might of Nazi Germany. Despite being vastly outnumbered, out gunned and out-trained, these Jews refused to succumb to Hitler’s genocide. They fought in city streets, villages, forests, ghettos and inside Nazi labor and death camps. Many Jews who escaped from the camps joined local partisans to continue this desperate fight. Jewish civilians understood tha...more
I loved this book so much. I have always been very interested in this time period of history. Doreen Rappaport paints a picture of amazing Jewish resistance and courage during the Holocaust. The book has facts at the end listing the important dates of the war, and is organized in an appealing way. It is very helpful in coming to understand the Second World War and the events that took place. One of the reasons I loved this book so much was that it was very different than other Holocaust related...more
When I started this, I thought it would just gently touch on things like the Sobibor revolt, Bielski partisans; boy was I wrong! This book is packed with a lot of interesting never-before-told stories of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. There were a few times when I would have liked to gently remind the author that Catholic Irena Sendler went out of her way to save 2,500 Jewish children, and gentile Sugihara hand wrote visas to thousands of Jews, and Protestant Andre Trocme and his friend...more
This is a badly needed book! It will become a standard in Jewish schools and classrooms, and should be a standard reference in public schools. Doreen Rappaport put her heart and soul into this book and did a magnificent job. She wanted to counteract the common myth that Jews went to slaughter like lambs and the Nazis had an easy time of it. Not so! Many Jews fought. Many Jews fought knowing they would fail and likely die and most did indeed die. But they were not going to simply hand the Nazis a...more
Rappaport succeeds in her aim to tell the mostly unknown stories of those Jews who resisted the Nazi Holocaust and those righteous gentiles who supported them. These non-fiction accounts use photographs and personal accounts of survivors, supported by the poems written by the Theresienstadt inmates. She counters the preconception that the Jews acquiesced in their capture, incarceration and slaughter and provides the research evidence from all over Europe to support her position. Most of our stud...more
In this new collection of stories describing how Jews fought against Hitler and the Nazi regime, the author begins with Kristallnacht and describes the heroism of two teens who remove Torah scrolls from a synagogue and then moves chronologically to other acts of heroism. She describes the transport of children to other lands and how children were smuggled out of cities right under the noses of the Nazis. She also details the resistance fighters in the Polish ghettos and in the camps. Some of the...more
This book is probably intended for high school students. It includes a good summary of the events leading up to the Holocaust and a timeline of events in addition to the stories of rescue and resistance. Although some of the stories have been told before, elsewhere (the Bielski brothers, the Warsaw ghetto uprising), many include more details, photographs, and new information about Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. Starting with resistance in Germany and then in occupied countries, concentr...more
An amazing set of stories from the Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust. For me, these stories are new and the pictures embedded within the stories were just as engaging because I was truly learning something new. From the descriptions of the camps to those heroes who tried to save thousands of children in various ways (smuggling them, caring for them, forging documents, etc.), the short two to four page biographies or stories were awe-inspiring, truly beyond courageous. It is a perfect title....more
This book took me soooo long to read, because it hit me so hard. It tells of the amazing bravery and strength of people-men, women and children who stood up for what was right against overwhelming odds. I've read many books about the Holocaust before, and I think that since I always know the outcome when I start them, I am more prepared. But with this book, I started every chapter with hope. Sometimes my hope was rewarded and sometimes it was not. Some stories devastated me. When I came to Part...more
Lindsay Weideman
Twin Text: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Rationale: I picked Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys because of the Holocaust/World War II connection. This story is about a fifteen year old Lithuanian girl who gets taken away by the Soviets and put into a camp. She is separated from her father and has to go to a camp with her brother and mother. It is a very sad story and I would recommend it more for 6th grade and up or a more mature audience. Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish R...more
Lonnie West
Beyond Courage gives glimpses of the atrocities of the Holocaust, but with more of an emphasis on survival.

Many Jews "believed" they were being "resettled," not exterminated. Others thought cooperation would save their lives. It didn't. Still others--knew better. They resisted! Their ingenuity, fueled by a determination to survive stoked my admiration.

* Postal carriers destroyed thousands of letters intended for German soldiers; and delivered food parcels, meant for Germans, to the Jews.

* Cigare...more
In this aptly titled account of the Holocaust, Rappaport succeeds in several areas. The writing style is clear and direct, but is not sterile or emotionless. She has organized the stories in this book to take the reader on a journey from beginning to end. Her triumph, though, is the unique point of view in "Beyond Courage." Many accounts of the Holocaust focus on the horrors of the Nazi regime. Others reveal the risk sympathizers took to assist Jews. The angle most of these stories take could le...more
I loved this nonfiction. Very different from other books about the Holocaust because it talks about the heroism of the Jewish people who fought back and risked their lives in order to try to stop what was happening to Jews. I really enjoyed all the pictures. I found myself really focusing on the pictures because they painted face to the names and they were all real photos. Some were very chilling, and sad. I loved all the stories, of all the heroes who revolted against the Germans. One man in pa...more
Liz B
While this book did include an overview of better-known instances of Jewish resistance such as the Warsaw Uprising, most of it was devoted to examples of resistance I hadn't ever read about before--including the Bielski family camp in the forests of Belorus. Powerful stories, told well.
I thought the book was interesting, she had lots of information and lots of stories. I lost interest about half way through. I think it would be a great book for a younger reader who is emotionally ready to read about the Holocaust, but for me it wasn't detailed enough. She summarized a lot of inspiring stories, but I wanted some more depth. This is great for what it is and it's intended audience, but not for me. I also liked that the book had a thorough bibliography which would make it a great...more
Beautifully done and informative book, inspiring and emotional.Very nicely set up with pictures, notes, stories, and more of the amazing courage of the Jewish Resistance.
Really great book with a new perspective on the Holocaust.
Hunter Boecker
Apparently I needed to read this quicker, so I didn't get to enjoy the book as much as I would like to. From what I have read so far, I really enjoy this book. It's chock full of knowledge about the Holocaust and the struggles that everyone faced. The Holocaust is one of my favorite subjects to read about because there are so many different stories to be told, which is partially why I like this book. There are many different stories strewn throughout the book, which shows the hardships some face...more
Opening her book with the poem “I am a Jew and will be a Jew forever,” Doreen Rappaport transports her readers to Hitler’s regime and the experiences of Jewish resistance fighters. Told in five separate sections and spanning across continental Europe, Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust compiles over twenty biographies and experiences of Jewish resistance fighters. From disguising themselves as Nazis to practicing their religion in secret, Jewish resisters...more
Clare Cannon
Beyond Courage is an excellent book chronicling the courageous work of the Jewish resistance in the eleven Nazi-occupied countries during World War II. The stories describe the great efforts made—over five years—to free and help those Jews who had been captured and imprisoned by the Nazis.

It is a story of the ingenuity, bravery, determination and tenacity of many outstanding figures in labour and concentration camps to overcome the obstacles to rescue.

In spite of careful planning, the extremely

Ben Balazs
Beyond Courage was a great book. Being a history buff, I was very excited to read this book. The historical non-fiction and the young adult aspects were very interesting and it really portrayed the fact that young people were greatly involved in the perils of the Holocaust. From cover to cover this book kept you interested and I was drawn to the stories and the triumphs that the people went through. I was aware that there were resistance movements throughout Germany and in the German occupied te...more
So this book isn't bad, per se. It has a lot of good information, many primary resources in the forms of photos and poems, and the personal stories of resistance among the Jews are inspiring while also being very sad.

However, this book is (in my opinion incorrectly) cataloged as "juvenile". A Holocaust book? Juvenile? Really? Isn't that a bit over the comprehension and understanding of grade school children? Topically, it's far too mature for little ones, and the author makes it even more inapp...more
Humanities Seth
8-2 9/4/13
Beyond Courage Book Review

Motele Shlayan ran from the building, with his violin in hand. He was panting hard, but a look of relief appeared upon his face. A few minutes later, the building exploded, along with all of the Nazi soldiers and officials inside of it. German soldiers rushed to the smoldering remains, trying to extinguish the fire, but it was no use and Motele was long gone, escaping on his horse. Looking up at the sky, he shouted in rage and anguish: “This is...more
Absolutely loved this book!! I have always enjoyed reading about the many wars our country has been involved in, but this brought a new light to World War II. Doreen Rappaport did an amazing job of painting a picture of Jewish resistance and courage during the Holocaust. The facts listed in the book about important dates during the war added to my enjoyment of the book. The book is organized in a way that entices me into reading more. It is eye opening to read about the Jewish resi...more
Ashley Boris
This is a book describes different stories of people who lived during the Holocaust and the events that unfolded. A lot of people during the Holocaust suffered greatly and wanted emigration to other countries, but not all were fortunate enough to get out. Those who could not make it out were sent to camps, lived in ghettos, and created rebellions. There were underground newspapers that formed and circulated in rebellion groups, like the Oyneg Shabes, which spread the truth about the war and Nazi...more
Rappaport shares stories of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, from well-known stories like the Warsaw ghetto to never-before-published accounts of resistance. She tells of sabotage against the German forces, smuggling children out of Nazi-occupied countries, and many other stories of resistance. While in many cases, those resisters lost their lives, their bravery saved the lives of many others and disrupted or delayed the Nazi's work.

This book does a good job showing various type of resist...more
This book was amazing and I agree is very much needed. The only reason this book didn't get one of my "10 out of 5 star ratings" is that I think it is written over the heads of the group it is targeted towards. I found it on my library's Juvenile shelf. I can't see the normal juvenile reader understanding the completeness of this book. I agree with another reviewer who felt it should be more targeted to the middle school/high school reader.
Becky B
Rappaport traces stories of Jewish efforts to fight back against their oppressors during WWII. This is one of the most extensive books aimed at the Juvenile/YA crowd on this topic in that it spans the entire time period and shares stories from all over Europe. I've actually run into very few books on the Holocaust that have stories from Greece and Bulgaria, but this one does. The stories are accompanied by historical photographs of the people and places mentioned in them as well as quotes from p...more
Mrs. Kenyon
Many Americans know about the Holocaust. Maybe they have read The Diary of Anne Frank or Night; they may have studied it during history class or watched a documentary. What most of us are not aware of is that there are a lot more stories, and not all stories can fill an entire book. The courage and bravery of the survivors and victims should not be forgotten because they were not epic in scope.

Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust brings many of these smaller...more
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Doreen Rappaport has written many books of fiction and nonfiction for young readers, specializing in thoroughly researched multicultural history, historical fiction, retellings of folktales and myths, and stories of those she calls the "not-yet-celebrated." Among her recent books is MARTIN'S BIG WORDS: THE LIFE OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., illustrated by Bryan Collier, which received a Caldecot...more
More about Doreen Rappaport...
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin LutherKing Jr. Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller Eleanor, Quiet No More To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt

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