In a stirring chronicle, Doreen Rappaport brings to light the courage of countless Jews who organized to sabotage the Nazis and help other Jews during the Holocaust.
Under the noses of the military, Georges Loinger smuggles thousands of children out of occupied France into Switzerland. In Belgium, three resisters ambush a train, allowing scores of Jews to flee from the cattle cars. In Poland, four brothers lead more than 1,200 ghetto refugees into the forest to build a guerilla force and self-sufficient village. And twelve-year-old Motele Shlayan entertains German officers with his violin moments before setting off a bomb. Through twenty-one meticulously researched accounts — some chronicled in book form for the first time — Doreen Rappaport illuminates the defiance of tens of thousands of Jews across eleven Nazi-occupied countries during World War II. In answer to the genocidal madness that was Hitler’s Holocaust, the only response they could abide was resistance, and their greatest weapons were courage, ingenuity, the will to survive, and the resolve to save others or to die trying.
Extensive end matter includes:
- timeline of important events
- pronunciation guide
- source notes
- maps integrated throughout text
Doreen Rappaport is the author of numerous award-winning nonfiction books for young readers. Beyond Courage, her most ambitious project to date, took five years to research and write. She lives in upstate New York.
"How Jews organized themselves in order to survive and defy their enemy is an important but still neglected piece of history. I present a sampling of actions, efforts, and heroism with the hope that I can play a role in helping to correct the damaging and persistent belief that Jews ‘went like sheep to the slaughter.’ " — Doreen Rappaport
In a book that is the very model of excellence in nonfiction, Rappaport dispels the old canard that the Jews entered the houses of death as lambs led to the slaughter... Thorough, deeply researched and stylistically clear, this is a necessary, exemplary book.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
With all the shelves of Holocaust books about the millions lost in the genocide, this is one of the few histories to focus in detail on Jewish resistance across Europe—those who fought back and saved others. The intricate deceptions are as compelling as the confrontations, and the underground escape stories make for thrilling adventure. . . An important addition to the Holocaust curriculum.
—Booklist (starred review)
This well-written and affecting volume is an excellent example of a history title with wide appeal. It belongs in every middle and high school library.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
These true stories . . . honor the incredible human spirit in the face of unimaginable suffering and torment.
—Publishers Weekly (starred reiew)
Rappaport’s engrossing storytelling will entice many teens to read cover-to-cover, while the organization and rich supporting features will guide teen researchers to specific topics, and the brevity and substance of individual entries will be valued by history teachers for classroom oral readings.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)