Thursday, June 12, 2014

Beyond Courage: The untold story of Jewish reisistance during the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport

Cover image for Beyond courage : the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust
I have to balance my reading.  After reading the silliness of the NERDS book, I was ready for something a little more serious. I found it in this nonfiction book about Jewish resistance during WWII.  In the forward, Ms Rappaport states that as a Jewish girl growning up, she was disheartened that all the stories of Jews during WWII were about them hiding and escaping.  She thought they seemed weak and helpless. So she decided to look for stories of Jews fighting back against the Nazis.  She found them.  These are amazing and inspiring stories about Jews fighting back against incredible odds.  The courage, selflessness, and ingenuity of the people in the stories is amazing.  Unfortunately, many who fought back did not survive the war.  There are stories of uprisings, carefully planned for months, in which only 50 or so out of hundreds survived.  But at least some did survive, whereas none would have without the effort.  Because of the content, this is not a cheery book.  I wouldn't recommend it to a sensitive child, because it emphasizes again and again how barbaric and cruel people can be to each other.  But there are some children that would be inspired rather than overcome by the stories.  My own daughter went through a period when she was in third grade when she loved the Holocaust survivor books, and read one after another.  If there is a child who is interested in this time period, this is a great book because the stories are real, and it gives a sense of what the people really went though, without candy coating, but not without some slivers of hope as well. (228 p)

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