Friday, February 24, 2012

His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg

His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue, and Mystery During World War II. Louise Borden. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 144 pages.

Look closely
at this faded school picture from Sweden.
Find the student whose number is 19
and match 19 to his signature.
Read it aloud. Let it echo.
Raoul Wallenberg.
It's a name for the world to remember.
Now you,
and others,
can become the storytellers
of this boy's remarkable life...

Read. This. Book. It is just amazing, powerful, compelling, and all sorts of wonderful! It is a nonfiction book written in verse. The verse makes it read very quickly. And the verse helps the story resonate even more, in my opinion. Though to be honest, prose or verse, I'd be caring about this story anyway. Yes, I do have a special interest in almost anything connected to World War II. But I think this story isn't just for those that already care, that are already fascinated by the subject. I think this is a book that can bring awareness or new awareness to the subject.

This book was very fascinating, very emotional. The heart of this one focuses on his time in Hungary during the end of World War II. He was a Swedish diplomat sent to Nazi-occupied Hungary to help as many Jewish people as he could. He issued special schutzpasses. What is a schutzpasse? Well, it was an "official" or official-looking document that promised Swedish protection to the person(s) listed. And at least for a time--it worked. It was saving lives. It was making a difference. Of course this project took the work of many, many individuals. But Raoul Wallenberg was the leader, the one who made it all work. As the end of the war drew nearer, as the government changed, as the threat of Communists increased, much did change and would continue to change as the Communists did indeed liberate Budapest. But with the Communists came the mystery...

I'd definitely recommend this one!

Read His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg
  • If you are interested in World War II,
  • If you are interested in learning more about Gentiles rescuers during the Holocaust
  • If you are interested in Sweden or Hungary
  • If you like compelling nonfiction

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Bruce 9:51 AM  

I read this book yesterday. It provided a fascinating insight into life during WW2.

Gilion at Rose City Reader 4:47 PM  

It sounds very interesting and I am intrigued by the verse idea.

Again, thanks for including your review on the European Reading Challenge! You've now read 4 of your 5. The Grand Prize goes to the person who reads the most.

<a href="”>Rose City Reader</a>

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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