Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Doreen Rappaport
Publisher: Candlewick Press
If someone thought that Jews went to their deaths “like lambs to the slaughter” during the Holocaust, this book will certainly prove them wrong. From the very beginning when Hitler first introduced anti-Semitic legislature, to the very end when WWII came to a close, Jews throughout Europe resisted physically, mentally, and even spiritually in order to stay alive and put an end to the evil that was being perpetrated around them. This book presents story after story of courage and resistance of Jewish men, women, and even children throughout Europe during the Holocaust. It includes accounts about hiding and fleeing from Nazi-controlled lands, revolts in the ghettos, uprisings in concentration camps, and partisan warfare.
Beyond Courage is a fascinating, informative, and moving book about the Holocaust. The author has done years of thorough research on this subject, and it clearly shows through in both the quantity and quality of information presented. The arrangement of the book is extremely well done, taking you from country to country in relatively chronological order and exploring the many different facets of the Holocaust. To make it even more understandable, individual recollections are often preceded by short historical sections that explain basic information about the events of WWII. Additionally, a plethora of photographs, maps, and drawings relative to the text are neatly arranged on every page of the book, bringing the reader even closer to the characters and events discussed. Though this is a book about Jews written by a Jew and therefore would greatly appeal to a Jewish audience, anybody interested in the Holocaust will easily become engrossed in this book, and the extensive back matter (with a complete bibliography) also makes it an excellent reference tool for further research. Thanks to the clarity of the text and reader-friendly format, this book is perfect for a young adult audience who will surely come away from it better informed and inspired.