Mimi's Reviews > The Boy Who Dared

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
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's review
Jan 20, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: teenagers
Read in March, 2010

I was very hesitant to begin this book, because honestly, I like reading "happy" books. And I had an idea that a book about a Hitler youth would not be very happy.

However, it was. And it wasn't, but it mostly was.

The Boy Who Dared is a fictional telling of a true story that sticks to the truth as much as possible (meaning that while we have no recording of every conversation, the author tried to stick to the true feelings of the main character).

The book is about Helmuth Hübener. He was the youngest person sentenced to death by the "People's Court" that Adolf Hitler created. His crime was listening to non-German radio broadcasts and publishing leaflets that showed the lies of the Nazi party and the realities of the war. He was sent to prison and then beheaded by guillotine at age 17.

This book was very sad in making me think of that horrible war and all of the lives lost, but it was inspiring to read of Helmuth's example. So many teenagers these days can't even stick up for themselves with their friends against a bad movie or crude language, but Helmuth stood against the government power that controlled his very existence. He was torn between wanting to follow his conscience, loving his country Germany, and knowing the current leadership was wrong.

Helmuth was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The author is not a member, but she did a very good job portraying his faith and how that affected his decisions as well.

I think the letter that he wrote on the day of his execution to his brother does a good job of expressing his character: "I am very grateful to my Father in Heaven that this agonizing life will shortly come to end this evening. I could not stand it any longer. My Father in Heaven knows that I have done nothing wrong. I know that God lives and that He will be the judge in this matter. Until our happy reunion in a better world, I remain your brother in the Gospel. Helmuth"

I definitely recommend this book to all as an inspiring, educational historical fiction account of a teenager who had courage and valor.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by A. (new) - rated it 4 stars

A. Is this the same young man that the book, "Before the Blood Tribunal" is about? I remember I really liked that book when I read it 15 years ago, but I haven't seen it since. Do you know?

Mimi I don't know if it is the same book. He does go before the blood tribunal though, so it's quite possible. Now that you mention it though, I think it is the same boy.

message 3: by A. (new) - rated it 4 stars

A. It is the same character, the book "Before the Blood Tribunal" was written by Rudolph Wobbe, who was one of his friends that was also tried and arrested, but did not get sentenced to death. I'll have to read this one, and try and find the other too!

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