Friday, September 24, 2010

The Boy Who Dared (to give the Nazis the middle finger).

I sit and think about what a chicken I was to even speak out against the treatment of people in school when I was 16, let alone stand up to an unjust and corrupt government. During WWII, there were many people that risked their lives to stand up against what the Nazi government was doing and to bring to light the lies that were being told to the German people. One of these people was a 16 year old German boy named Helmuth Hübener, whose anger overflowed to the point of protest. He spoke out against the Nazis who were running his home country and did what he could to spread the truth about what was going on. The Boy Who Dared is a fictional account of his life.

This book, like all books about brave people standing up to injustice, pulls my emotional strings. It definitely wasn’t The Book Thief but it was pretty good none the less. Because the book is relatively short, the depth of the characters is not felt as much as other book I have read about the same time period. I did learn a few new interesting things about being a German in Germany at the time of the Nazis’ and Hitler’s rise, and I was driven to that point of asking myself the same question as I had with other books, “how was there not more people who saw how twisted and messed up the whole Hitler thing was and did something about it?” I know that fear has a big role and we see this in the book, but it made me proud to know that out of all the people that stood up and said ‘I can’t let this happen’ there was a teenage boy. For all the adults that look down their noses at teenagers and think they are so far past those times, we are reminded that sometimes the courage and depth of youth can far exceed that of adults. This is another one of those books where I wonder how engaging it would be to a teen boy and only time on the shelves will tell the tale.   

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