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

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  522 ratings  ·  125 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
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Newbery 2013
88th out of 111 books — 1,181 voters
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The Holocaust - Fiction and Non
140th out of 153 books — 45 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
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
"Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust," was an emotional, heartbreaking, intense, powerful, and captivating non-fiction book written by Doreen Rappaport. I have always been interested in history, especially World War II. I felt I was familiar with the topic but after reading this I was surprised with all the information I was able to take away from this book.

The holocaust has been described as an atrocity, cruel, devastating, and an act of pure evil. It was
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
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
Keith McGowan
This book is cataloged as "middle grade nonfiction." Another reviewer has commented that the topic of this book might not be appropriate for juveniles.

However, I recall reading accounts of the Holocaust at a young age and wondering why the Jews did not fight back. Indeed, many did, and the author admirably tells the stories that she has been able to find. These stories should be told to people of all ages along with the background that the author provides.
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
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
Sydni R.
The book Beyond Courage, by Doreen Rappaport, was absolutely a great read! Containing very important details of the holocaust (for me, in school, I didn't think was explained as it could have been) this book widely captured how horrible that time period was for innocent people all over Europe and really showed me how some Jews were brave enough to fight back while a whole bunch of people didn't. It mostly takes place in Poland, Germany, and France because the war mostly took part in those 3 are ...more
This book by Doreen Rappaport describes unique, first-hand experiences of Jewish people during the Holocaust. She tells the stories of brave Jewish individuals who resisted Nazi Germany. This novel does not only include stories, but also pictures and other primary sources from the time such as poems. She tells stories from several different countries, encompassing many perspectives of the Holocaust. This novel describes the extreme hardships and circumstances of the Holocaust, for example escapi ...more
Marion Neiswander
We hear about the Holocaust, the millions of Jews who were killed by the Nazis in the name of Hitler's ethnic cleansing. What we don't hear about are the many day-to-day resisters, mostly Jews (and some non-Jews) working to save Jews, who demonstrated great courage in committing small acts of defiance and/or sabotage against the Nazis all the while knowing they'd probably be killed for their efforts. Nuns raising Jewish children or neighbors smuggling them out of Nazi occupied territories, defia ...more
Kim Struyk
Rappaport, D. (2012) Beyond courage. Somerville: Candlewick Press.


Orbis Pictus Awards for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, starred Kirkus Review

6 million Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust, 6 million! I can't get over that number. I also cant get over that the Holocaust began in 1933 and ended in 1945. 12 years! This terrible act was able to survive for 12 years.

I did learn about the Holocaust in school, but not like this! Or maybe it was more like, when I learned about
Alexandra Escamilla
In a book that is the very model of excellence in nonfiction, Rappaport dispels the old canard that the Jews entered the houses of death as lambs led to the slaughter. Although "[t]he scope and extent of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust cannot possibly be contained in one book," Rappaport offers an astonishing and inspiring survey. By shining a spotlight on individuals and their involvement in given situations—Kristallnacht, deportations, guerrilla resistance, among others—throughout Europ ...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
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
Alex Roth
This book is very different in that it is a single book that covers many different views and aspects of the Holocaust through a few different stories. One of the stories discusses what it was like before Hitler took control and a time frame of when he was put into power. Another story discusses numerous occasions where Jewish individuals helped keep the Jewish children safe by sending them off to other countries or into hiding. Much of the rest of the book discusses rebellions against the Nazi’s ...more
This book takes an interesting turn on exploring the history of the holocaust, by having short stories of different lives that were affected. It contains information about someone's life: where they were born, what they did for a living, and why they were captured by the Nazis. Doing this helps better understand and develop a connection between the victims. Also, throughout the book there are many facts about why Hitler came into power, what the reasons were, what the living conditions were like ...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
It is a painful read.

But it is uplifting to read about those who defied the Nazis, to know that Jews and non-Jews worked together at great risk to themselves and their families in order to survive. These people were courageous and savvy and they had such an incredible will to live.

It states in the book that at some point during this madness the Nazi regime had reduced food rations to the Jews to just 184 calories a day.

Women took up arms and learned how to participate in military-like maneuvers
James Perry
Listened to on cd.
Niko Gregg
This book tells the story of many Jews during World War Two and the Holocaust on how they fought for survival and defied Nazi Germany. Rappaport did her research and looked for the stories that many people do not know that showed courage and bravery as people fought for their lives. She also broke the book up into different parts to show when certain events happened in order to better tell the story of the Jews as the reader will have a better background of when these events happened. This can b ...more
Hunter Alexander
This book was amazing. It was told in multiple perspectives with quotes and first hand action. It goes into great detail about what actions were taken to sabotage the Germans. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in history. Nut, if you can't handle sad stories, this is not for you.
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.
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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. Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln Eleanor, Quiet No More To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt

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