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His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg [Hardcover]

Louise W Borden

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HardCover. Pub Date: Jan. 2012 Pages: 144 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children An amazing and inspirational World War II story about how one man saved the LIVES of many. Raoul Wallenberg's name may Not BE a Universally familiar one but the impact he had is immeasurable. Wallenberg was a Swedish humanitarian who worked in Budapest during World War II to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. He did this by issuing protective passports and housing Jews in buildings established as Swedish territory. saving tens of thousands of lives. Louise Borden researched Wallenberg's life for many years. visiting with his family and the site of his childhood home. and learned his story from beginning to end. Wallenberg himself has not been heard from since 1945. It is suspected he died while in Russian custody. though this has never been proven. Raoul Wallenberg ... it's a name you may n...

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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unknown Hero 29 Dec 2011
By RCM - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have read a lot about WWII and the Holocaust and never before came across the name of Raoul Wallenberg. Louise Borden does a commendable job in fashioning his story for a young adult audience (although her stylistic choice is rather choppy and distracting at times). It is also a story that adults will enjoy, appreciate, and admire. It is the tale of a true hero, whose fate remains uncertain, who risked his life numerous times to save the lives of countless Hungarian Jews.

From childhood, Raoul Wallenberg was a thoughtful and caring person who wanted to help those who were in trouble. For an only child of a widowed mother, Raoul led a lucky life. His father's family was wealthy and his grandfather guaranteed that his grandson got to travel around the world and work in interesting situations. Wallenberg studied architecture at the University of Michigan before finding himself at sea with few job prospects as the winds of WWII haunted Europe. Because he could speak five languages, Wallenberg was given the opportunity to serve Sweden in Hungary, finding a way to save the Hungarian Jews who were currently mistreated as the Nazi threat heightened and the grim prospect of concentration camps and ghettos closed in around them. Wallenberg, along with a staff he put together, created the Schutz-Pass, a passport that could guarantee whole families protection from the neutral Swedish government. Wallenberg worked tirelessly and constantly to save as many Hungarian Jews as he could from deportation, staying one canny step ahead of his various enemies all the time. In January of 1945, Wallenberg and his chauffer were arrested by the Russians and were never heard from again. To this day, despite the efforts of his family, friends, and countless other Swedes and Hungarians, the true fate of Raoul Wallenberg remains unknown.

Yet what is known about Wallenberg is remarkable. He was a tireless, courageous, fearless man who saved hundreds of Jews from Nazi clutches. He is proof that one person can make a difference and an inspiration to all. "His Name was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue, and Mystery During World War II" is an engaging, fast-paced read that will introuduce readers to an unknown hero of one of the world's darkest times.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How does a man become a hero? Amazing way to teach the Wallenberg story to children - highly recommended 30 Dec 2011
By Joel Avrunin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
How do we respond today to human suffering and disaster? We retweet a 140-character protest, we affix magnetic bumper stickers to our car, and maybe we go hold a sign and protest in a country where that right is protected. What frame of reference does a child today have when we tell the story of Rauol Wallenberg?

Louise Borden has done an amazing job communicating Wallenberg's story to children. Be assured, this is not a book aimed at adults, and not even a book intended to be a comprehensive Holocaust history. Rather, Borden is trying to explain the man, Wallenberg, in way children can understand, and perhaps emulate when the time comes for them to be heroes.

Learning history, children often cannot relate to the actors of the world. Heroes are heroes because that's what they are. It's like you get a hero card when you are born and live a super-human life. Borden smashes this fantasy, depicting Raoul on the cover as a young man, and his elementary school photo in the first pages. We see his baby photos, the house where he grew up, and even some of his architectural drawings from school in Michigan. Stories such as getting mugged while traveling across America color his life and show us that a hero must start as a boy learning about the world. Children reading the book can think similar things of their own lives.

The book tells the story of the war, how Raoul Wallenberg risked his life to save the Jews of Hungary. He flaunted the law right under the nose of the police, and even pulled Jews out of the Danube who survived mass shootings. Despite the rough and gruesome true history, the book is remarkably tasteful with no gruesome photos or overly scary descriptions.

The style of writing in the book is short lines of prose that do not rhyme. This can be disconcerting when you first read it, and indeed some reviewers here panned the book as a result. But remember - this is a book for children, not adults. I realized that it is easier to read as a result of the broken lines, especially with foreign names like Lidingo, Wising, Kappsta, Linnegatan, Humlegarden, and unfamiliar words to children like archipelago and skerries. The book is not dumbed down, but my 7 year old could read through it. It does challenge the child in both language and theme, both in an approachable way.

I can also tell that a tremendous amount of research went into this book, and I most definitely learned facts I did not know before, despite having a veritable archive of Jewish history tomes in my house. The photos alone in this book are amazing, many of which I've never seen.

My highest recommendation for this volume as an addition to your library. It will help your child learn about true heroism, and most importantly, how a person becomes a hero through the course of events around himself.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A True Story About a Real Hero 6 Dec 2011
By StarReviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"His Name was Raul Wallenberg" is a short biography that covers Raul's life from birth to the conflicting reports of what became of him at the end of WW2. It has lots of excellent pictures of Raul, his family, and the people he worked with to save thousands of Jewish people from the Nazis. There was very little historical background, so I think this book would be best for children/teens who are already learning about WW2. The writing was spaced like poetry, which made it really hard to read sometimes. Overall, this was good introduction to an amazing person, and I hope to read more about Raul.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful presentation of a life well lived. 11 Dec 2011
By kindred spirit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I enjoyed this book very, very much. It is told in an easy to read form and is loaded with pictures that really let you see into the life of Raoul Wallenberg. He was raised without his father as he had died of cancer.Raoul grew up in Sweden but by the time he was 11 years old he was becoming a world traveler.

He went to college in the USA and studied architecture. This would serve him well during WWII. The more he traveled the more of a world view he developed. When in Berlin during the time Hitler was coming into power he knew he had to do something to save Jews. With the help of the Royal Swedish government and many volunteers he created what was called the Schutz-Pass. A paper that protected Jews saying they are planning a trip to Sweden. He saved the lives of thousands of lives.

Raoul is a hero that has been overlooked for too long. I am so glad that recently his name is being made known. It shows that just one person with an open mind a being a citizen of the world can make a big difference.

I'll not tell you everything so you can find out by reading the book. It is a very fast read and you learn so much of history and how it was to live in Europe during these troubled times. Once again the pictures make the story so come alive. I highly recommend this book for any one 10 and up.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done 4 Dec 2011
By sanoe.net - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg" is a perfectly made for young readers to introduce them to this hero of World War II.

It is obvious that Louise Borden meticulously researched Mr Wallenberg's life and had access to some incredible personal photographs that are included in this gorgeous book.

The book is slim but packs a lot of information from Wallenberg's birth to his disappearance. The narrative is simple as it is targeted for young readers but nonetheless, older readers will find it interesting as well.

If there is a weakness in the book, it is the abrupt ending that doesn't completely explore Mr Wallenberg's mysterious disappearance.

Otherwise, it is a very well done, well researched book. Highly recommended.
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