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The Boy Who Dared

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  12,382 ratings  ·  1,815 reviews
A youth in Nazi Germany tells the truth about Hitler.

Bartoletti has taken one episode from her Newbery Honor Book, Hitler Youth, and fleshed it out into a full novel.

When 16-year-old Helmut Hubner listens to the BBC news on an illegal short-wave radio, he quickly discovers Germany is lying to the people. But when he tries to expose the truth with leaflets, he's tried for t
Hardcover, 202 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Scholastic Press
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,382 ratings  ·  1,815 reviews

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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
Oct 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, his-fic
I liked the brotherhood aspect, but didn't realize that this was Mormon when I picked it up. XD Seeing as I'm not a Mormon, that took away from the book for me. Also there was the idea of 'the end justifies the means' which is completely unbiblical. So it wasn't terrible, wasn't super great, just sorta meh.
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
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Agata Wilusz
I really love the way Bartoletti used flashbacks and present day to tell this story, definitely kept me guessing as to how he ended up in his current position. Would be great for anyone looking to understand life for a German boy during WWII. I think many people would be surprised to learn that not all Germans felt the same way.
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a pretty good book. I feel like it the beginning was a little slow but after that it was really engaging.
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
The beginning is kind of slow, but the end is pretty good, because it gives you closure. It was confusing in the beginning, but once you got use to her style of writing it becomes easier to read and follow.
Jan 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, war, holocaust
A good YA book based on a true story of a German boy who spoke out against Nazi propaganda, was branded a traitor and was executed. The author did a nice job of showing what it was like living in Germany in the 1930s while Hitler was coming to power. The book is a good introduction to World War II, and I think it would be useful reading for history students.
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was OK. It was not very interesting to me. I gave it three out of five stars because some of it didnt make sense and there was really no action to it at all. I would recommend you read it though if you like the topic of World War 2.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book really showed me what it was like in the holocaust time. I really think this book is very great for all ages.
Juan Lopez
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
***Spoiler Alert***
A young boy is getting executed, the punishment he doesn't know when. This book is one of the those books that you can't keep your eyes off because you never know what is going to happen. I personally don't like reading books, this book made me rethink that. The genre of this book is history, so if you don't like history you should still read this book. This is one of my favorite books and hopefully you choose to read it too.

This book is a true story about a young boy during t
Loren Johnson
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adults and Adults
Wow. Let that be the first word of this review. Wow. This was absolutely beautiful - every moment of it was gripping and gut-wrenching. It's the type of story that has you on the edge of your seat at all times, constantly wondering what the outcome will be. I didn't want the story to end because I dreaded what the ending may bring, it was so well written and researched. The author's note was fantastic to listen to, giving a lot of detail about the research process and the true history behind the ...more
Jun 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-school
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
Stephanie  Weatherly
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read this to two of my classes during our historical fiction unit. What a whirlwind of emotions felt for Helmuth. Crazy that this was based on a true story. I enjoyed how the historical information was woven throughout the story, as well as the author switching back and forth between past and present for Helmuth. It was nice to get his thoughts as he sat in his prison cell. Great read!
Karen Williams
Audio version. Very interesting story of a Hitler youth turning against the Reich and joining with the resistance. One can see many parallels to this story with today's political society. Trump and his "fake news," his lies, and him instilling fear about immigrants are very similar to Hitler's German propaganda and his views of Jews. The similarities are actually extremely scary and I fear for our future.

I give this a four star book and not a five star because I wished it was longer. It was onl
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a great book because it was about WW2. I liked it because there was a great perspective of a viewpoint by a German. Instead of always seeing lots of books from a Jewish perspective. I enjoy reading about world war 2 but once you get into this book it is very hard to put it down in my opinion. In the end I thought it was a great book because it is a story for what it would be like to be a German during the war. It also goes to show that not all the Germans wanted a war it was mainly the ...more
Jenna Skoglund
Very interesting take on what it was like to be an unsupportive German in WWII, and to learn that it’s based on a true story! Remarkable.
Cogan Chou
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a strong and powerful message! I only decided to read this book because my middle school age son was assigned to read it for class. He truly is not a reader. Well, as much as I might wish he was. But I have to say I was very impressed with his depth of understanding and his perceptions of right and wrong upon discussing this book. The story was excellent in keeping a young man who as I said before isn't necessarily a reader but one who loves history engaged. I believe it helped his grade ...more
Noah Prideaux
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 05, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
“The Boy Who Dared” by Susan Campbell Bartoletti was a great book. It takes place in the 1930’s, around the time when Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany. The main character is Helmuth, who is 16 years old. When the book starts, he is a supporter of Hitler, and believes that this man is a great leader who promises to do so many great things for his country. He becomes part of the Hitler Youth and believes all the lies Germany are telling their people. But later in the book, he realizes that ...more
{My thoughts} – Helmut Hubner is a young child that is growing up in the time when Hitler was becoming more well known. Helmut is a child that asks a lot of questions and he has since he was a young child. In school he becomes known as a child that is wise beyond his years and his teachers have hope for him. They hope that one day he will become somebody important.

Helmut starts questioning the way in which the German populations chooses to follow Hitler once he realizes how wrong the actions are
Noah Berg
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Boy Who Dared went trough the many different and interesting story's. Each new story gives more and more information about the main character Helmoth. I really enjoyed reading Helmoth's story's because they were not told from point of view from a mature adult that understood what Hitler was, but from the perspective of a teenager that was incent does understand the affects war, and why Hitler hate Jews. He is nice and caring, which makes me like Helmoth because I can relate to him in a certa ...more
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Question 1 8 Feb 26, 2018 10:00AM  
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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
“The worst experience can bring out a person's deepest strength.” 15 likes
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