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The Boy Who Dared
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New or Used: $14.95
New or Used: $14.95

Product Description
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About the Author

Susan Campbell Bartoletti is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of many books, both fiction and nonfiction, for children. Her fiction includes the novels The Boy Who Dared, Dear America: A Coal Miner's Bride, and No Man's Land, as well as a number of picture books. She won the Newbery Honor for her nonfiction book Hitler Youth. A former eighth-grade teacher for 18 years, Bartoletti now writes full-time and lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

Reviews

Returning to material she uncovered while researching Hitler Youth, Bartoletti offers a fictionalized biography of Helmuth H\u00fcbener, a Hamburg teenager who, in February 1942, was arrested for writing and distributing leaflets that denounced Hitler. Almost nine months later, on October 27, at the age of 17, H\u00fcbener was executed for treason. Opening her story on H\u00fcbener's last day, Bartoletti frames the work as third-person flashbacks, casting over the narrative a terrible sense of doom even as she escalates the tension. She does an excellent job of conveying the political climate surrounding Hitler's ascent to power, seamlessly integrating a complex range of socioeconomic conditions into her absorbing drama of Helmuth and his fatherless family. The author also convincingly shows how Helmuth originally embraces Hitler. His disillusionment seems to come a little too easily; American readers may wonder why Helmuth's reactions were not more common. But that question resolves itself as the author exposes the chilling gap between her own admiration for her subject and reflections, discussed in an afterword, from those who knew Helmuth, as in this comment from his older brother: \u201cHe should have known better than that.... A sixteen-year-old boy cannot change the government.\u201d Ages 11-up. (Feb.)

-- Publishers Weekly, February 11, 2008

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