His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg Hardcover – 17 Jan 2012
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"Moving and inspiring; Wallenberg's is a name to remember for all time, and Borden has done an admirable job of ensuring readers will."--"Kirkus " "Borden's extensive research is evident throughout. Abundant photographs add immediacy to the narrative, and the double-spaced text and wide margins make the book accessible to students with reading difficulties."--"School Library Journal, "starred review "Borden takes a little-known story from history and gives it new life and appeal via meticulous research and deft presentation...a compelling and readable nonfiction gem."--"VOYA" "Scrupulously researched...The story is riveting, and the stylish prose, in compact, ragged-right format, provides a sense of urgency and mystery."--"Bulletin"
"Moving and inspiring; Wallenberg s is a name to remember for all time, and Borden has done an admirable job of ensuring readers will." "Kirkus ""Borden's extensive research is evident throughout. Abundant photographs add immediacy to the narrative, and the double-spaced text and wide margins make the book accessible to students with reading difficulties."--"School Library Journal, "starred review "Borden takes a little-known story from history and gives it new life and appeal via meticulous research and deft presentation...a compelling and readable nonfiction gem."--"VOYA""Scrupulously researched...The story is riveting, and the stylish prose, in compact, ragged-right format, provides a sense of urgency and mystery."--"Bulletin""
About the Author
Louise Borden is the author of 25 picture books, including the acclaimed "The Journeythat SavedCuriousGeorge."A history major in college, Borden attended Denison University. Louise and her husband Peter have three grown children, and three grandchildren. They live live in Cincinnati and also in the Washington, D.C. metro area."
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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.
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.
Ms Borden's book covers Wallenberg's entire life from his birth, childhood, schooling, early work life, his desperate efforts to rescue Hungarian Jews from Germans deportation, his eventual arrest/kidnapping by the Soviets, and probable death at their hands. The author formats her text in a non-traditional manner, almost as if her prose were free-form poetry. It felt odd for the first few pages, but then I got used to it and it didn't bother me, and in some cases this distinct format actually helped streghten the point she was making. The book is full of interesting photographs of Wallenberg and his family, pictures of Sweden, shots from Budapest during the war, and reproductions of some of the documents he developed to provide the Hungarians with some type of legal protection from being deported.
I personally enjoyed the book (despite my being considerably older than the suggested age), and I learned things I didn't know about Wallenberg and his valiant struggles against the Germans. However, this really is a book for youth readers rather than adults. It doesn't go into the depth of an "adult" biography, although she does fully cover Wallenberg's life, and the complexity of the writing is aimed more at a younger reader. But that's not to say that the book is overly simplistic. The author spent 10 years reseaching this book and becoming friends with Wallenberg's remaining family, and she provides some details of Wallenberg's life that I didn't know before. But be aware that it's written to the level of a middle-schooler.
This is an excellent book for the target audience, and shows what one moral, courageous man can accomplish in the face of unspeakable evil. Four stars.
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.
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