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A Father's Promise

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  553 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Adolf Hitler's ominous statements seem only a distant threat to eleven-year-old Rudi Kaplan. But when the Nazi forces invade Poland and bomb his home city of Warsaw, Rudi finds out that he is Hitler's enemy not only because he is a Pole, but also because he's a Jew--and a Christian. The next few years change Rudi's life forever. With only his imprisoned father's promise th ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published November 15th 2004 by BJU Press (first published February 1987)
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Bridget Marshall
I love this book. I really have no idea how many times I've read it over the years. But without fail -
It makes me sweat.
It makes cry.
It makes me laugh.
And then I cry some more.
Lydia Dyslin
A Father's Promise is by Donna Lynn Hess.

I read this book for school and I very much enjoyed it. It was VERY good for assigned reading. I am impressed!

4 stars out of 5.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i loved this book i read it in like 3 days only becuase my mom made me go to bed and eat breakfest lunch and dinner, it is so sad but truely shows true faith in God, my friend has read this book 15 times(at least ) no joke he loves reading he loves history (so do I) so our mom's have a hard time finding something that is christian our reading level and true that really teaches amazing lessons this is one of them. LOVE THIS BOOK. MAKES ME CRY.
Lena Morrison
This was a nice book. I read it for the first time in fifth grade, and I loved it. Now that I'm older, I didn't love it, but I did really like it, and I understood why I used to enjoy it so much. The plot has its cliches, but also some original moments that I liked. The characters are good, believable for the most part, and fun to read about. The writing is done well, thought it is not amazing. In general, I would say the quality of this book is a little over mediocre, but for whatever reason I ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it
It is a delight to discover this fictional account of a Jewish boy, Rudi Kaplan, sent by his father to survive in the woods outside Warsaw, Poland, as Hitler and Stalin carve up their lives. Although written by a woman, I appreciated the masculine tones of the story which make it a particularly strong title for boys. Discoveries about community, obedience, heroism, self-sacrifice, courage, bravery, and risk are woven into Rudi's experience as he becomes a young man in the countryside. While deep ...more
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As always, my favorite books are WWII books. This one was exceptionally wonderful. I have read many stories, both fictional and non-fictional, about those who have been in Nazi work camps, but this is the first I have read about a child who escaped into the forest to avoid being taken to one. I cried in several places, but laughed just as hard in others. I also really liked how much the characters rely on God for their lives each day. Because that's how it was for Jews in Poland while the Nazis ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was one of those books that my sister had at least when we were younger and to me it still stands as not only being a coming-of-age story that is also a story of triumph but also a story that will allow boys to relate to a male protagonist. Even though it is mostly focused for a male audience it isn't exclusively a book for boys but can be an enjoyable read for girls as well while providing a nice balance when it comes to other Holocaust reads whether fictional or nonfictional.

Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book was very enjoyable. It had a fascinating story line that drew me in right from the start. The author did an excellent job of implementing conversations about God and the Bible into the story without there being a sudden awkward break. I also really liked how the author included KJV Bible verses at the beginning of each chapter that pertained to what occurred in the chapter.
As for the characters, they were fairly well developed, although it was evident that a female author was writing a
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I read this a long time ago, and I can't remember much about what happened, except that it was beautiful, well written, and that it gave me an idea for a story.
Amazing book recommended for all ages (but probably not too young as I think there was a bit of violence due to the era this book is set in).
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tweens and early teens who enjoy reading Christian fiction and/or about World War Two
Recommended to RandomNamelessSidekick by: School
Shelves: historical
I had to read this book in sixth grade and the minute I picked it up, I fell in love with it. It is definitely one of my favorite books of all time. The characters, the writing style, the plot, and the deeper meanings all come together to fashion a truly wonderful story!
Jennifer Nagle
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've read this now for the 5th time (the last three times with my class). Donna Hess was my teacher for Children's Lit. Love her and her books!
Nick Montesano
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Nick Montesano

A Father’s Promise

A Father’s Promise by Donna Hess, explores the life of a Christian Jew named Rudi Kaplan. He and his widowed father live in Warsaw, Poland during the turbulent times of 1939. Rudi's father is a doctor who works in the local hospital, and after the invasion, he will be the only doctor in the whole city alive to treat those injured and sick. When the Nazis invade Warsaw, Rudi’s life changes forever. Rudi is also in a unique situation amongst the ethnic cleansing; h
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
1. A Father's Promise by Donna Lynn Hess
I gave this book a 4/5 because it gave me the feeling of wanting to read on. Although i hate reading, this book really grabbed my attention. This book made me think about my faith and trust. This book is about a father and son who live in Warsaw,Poland. The son's name is Rudi, who is a Christian Jew. His father is a doctor that works in a local hospital. At around this time, Hitler and his army take over Poland. In order to escape, safely, Rudi must follow the instructions given by his f
Peter N.
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good, solid book about a Christian boy maturing while separated from his father during WWII. I especially enjoyed the way he protected a young girl he found and the way he honored his father is rare in books today. Also, the treatment of the Jews in the story was good. They were respected by the Christians, but not to an unbiblical degree. Some of the dialogue was stilted and weak. And at times, certain parts of the plot seemed unrealistic. My boys have especially enjoyed the book and read it ...more
Leah Good
Rudi Kaplan is a young Christian Jew living in Warsaw. When the Nazi army invades his city, life grows increasingly difficult. When things are tough, though, Rudi knows he can depend on his father. That is, until his father tells him he must leave. As he struggles to survive the war, Rudi must learn to trust his heavenly father as well as his earthly one.

Audience: 11 and up, or family read-aloud
Aug 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this I think in 5th Grade. I went to an extremely religious school so religious books were sometimes the focus. I'm not a religious person at all, but this was still a fairly good book. I find myself thinking about it randomly sometimes remembering small snippets that stood out over the years. I had actually forgotten it was such a "christian" book since it's been so long since I read it and the only parts that stuck with me where the horrors of living in hiding in Nazi occupied Poland.
Isaiah the Ox
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Isaiah the Ox by: My Mom
Shelves: audio-book
An interesting book and helpful for understanding the WWII period. I was interested in how this book contained the same Polish tale of that in The Trumpeter of Krakow. The author wrote very well, and I found myself able to relate with the main character. It was a very fun, enjoyable, and historical, read.
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii, borrowed, wish-list
What an incredible story! My favorite out of all the WWII fiction I've read thus far. I highly recommend this!

-Clean language
-Shows reality of war and cruelty without being overly graphic
-Characters' example of an unshakeable faith in God
-Hope in Christ and compassion for fellow-man
-Masterful writing!!!
Mar 29, 2016 added it
Rudi is 11 and lives in Warsaw Poland. The Nazis come and take his dad away. Rudy is left with a promise from his dad. A promise that they will reunite. After years living on the low in the woods and barns and back homes the war ends. He looks for his father and after awhile the promise seems to be true.
Hailey Bug
Nov 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
A Fathers Promise was not my favorite book. Actually I didn't like it. I didn't like this book because it was very sad. Rudy was in an orphanage and it really makes me sad for people to not have a family to love them and care for them. If you are looking for a sad book you should read this one.
Deanna Peshl
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
This was a mandatory read for us in 6th grade. I loved it. Its one of those books that children can latch onto and learn easily through. I still recall being very passionate about our weekly book reports and illustrations in relation to this book.
Tim Kruse
Sep 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Great book on how things were for refugees during WWII. Having to survive in the woods, eating rabbit, hiding from the Nazi's... a touching book to read, too.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book for young adult Christians!
Ekaterina Ivanik
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is very interesting and sad and an AMAZING BOOK!! It was a book with a good ending that made me happy and that made me cry. I had to read this book for school. I loved it. :)
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. It is exhilarating and captivating the whole way through!!!!
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is UH-MAY-ZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I couldn't put it down as I wanted to know what would happen to Rudi and his father. It's a great read!
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I liked the book.
Ruth Owens
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this is a great book. It really captures the time period and what it was like. If you are looking for a well written, exiting book, this is the book to read.
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed-books
Very good book
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“It is always ridiculous to imagine yourself superior to other people. Still, lots of people do.” 2 likes
“Remember, son, you're most afraid when you can think of no one but yourself.” 0 likes
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