The Boy Who Dared: A Novel Based on the True Story of a Hitler Youth

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

"To break the Radio Law would be a selfish act. It could endanger our family," Helmuth Hübener's brother tells Helmuth. Defying his brother, his Nazi stepfather, and German law, Helmuth, a teenager, listens to Allied radio stations. He is infuriated to learn that the Nazis are distorting the facts about the war and is determined to let his fellow Germans know the truth, even if it means risking his life. Based on real events. Time line of the Naziregime. Bibliography. Suggestions for further reading. Photographs.

ISBN: 9780439680134

JLG Release: April 2008

JLG Member Price

Out of Stock

Advanced Readers Plus

Grades 6-9


14 books / $16.30 a book

  • Book Details




    Print Book




    Arthur A. Levine

    Page Count


    Trim Size

    5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

    Dewey Classification


    Accelerated Reader

    Level: 4.9, Points: 5

    Scholastic Reading Counts

    Level: 4.6, Points: 10


    Level: 760L

    Awards & Honors

    2009 Notable Books for a Global Society; 2008 Booklist Editors ' Choice: Books for Youth; Book Sense Children 's Picks - Spring 2008 , Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction for Youth; 2009 ALA Best Books for Young Adults; NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2009, World History and Culture


    Historical fiction

    Author/Illustrator Biographies

    Susan Campbell Bartoletti encountered Helmuth Hübener 's amazing story while writing Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler 's Shadow, a previous JLG selection and winner of both Newbery and Sibert Honors. Ms. Bartoletti was so moved by Helmuth 's heroic actions that she wanted to flesh out his story into a fictional form. She also wanted to provide a dramatic meditation on the meaning of his short life that raises questions about moral courage, nationalism, and individual responsibility.

    Ms. Bartoletti started her college career planning to be an artist. In the end, though, she majored in English at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennslyvania, where she took creative writing classes and interned as a journalist at a local newspaper. She also earned education credits and was offered a job teaching eighth-grade English.

    "It seems funny now, " she says. "I never intended to teach, but kids are easy to get hooked on --even junior-high kids. " She taught eighth grade for the next eighteen years. Her students were writers. "I felt immense satisfaction in watching my students grow as writers. I wanted to practice what I preached, so I joined a writers group and got serious about my own writing. "
    She sold her first short story in 1989 and her first picture book in 1992. For several years, she got up at 4 AM in order to write before she left for school. "By 1997 I knew the time had come for a difficult decision: either teach full time or write full time, " says Ms. Bartoletti. "I already had one career that I loved --teaching. Was it time for another? Could I make it as a full-time writer? "

    Ms. Bartoletti, a full-time writer, is the author of picture books, novels, and nonfiction for children. She lives with her family in Moscow, Pennsylvania.

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