Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible...on Schindler's List by Leon Leyson

genre: middle grade non-fiction/memoir

Leon Leyson's idyllic Jewish childhood in a tiny town in Eastern Poland is only a fond memory as his family begins a new life in Krakow, just as Hitler is setting his sites on this neighbor country to Germany.  Soon, like all other Jews in Poland, Leon finds himself in terrible danger, moved into a ghetto and fearing for his life and the lives of the people he loves most.  Still so young, only a teenager, when a chance meeting of Leon's father's will put him on a list that will change everything.   A man named Oskar Schindler is going to have an impact on Leon that will last for his entire, long life.

I really appreciate this addition to the middle-grade canon of Holocaust Memoirs - what an incredible, painful and inspiring story.  Leon is both a typical child/teen but also courageous and passionate.  To read the story of Schindler's list through a child's perspective really gives you a sense of Oskar Schindler as a compassionate and aware individual.   Leon doesn't ignore his faults but he doesn't harp on them either.  What Leon does is share one story - HIS story - a story of one life whose course was changed because of another person's decision to take a great risk for someone else.  It's readable, emotional and tender.  I liked the map at the beginning and the photos as the end.  I loved hearing Leon's voice through his words, not just his memories but how he's processed them as an adult, how he knows what happened then but what he understands about it now.

This is an incredible book and I'm so glad I found it by chance at the library.

1 comment:

Susan said...

This one sounds excellent. I'm always looking for new WWII books. I've read several MG ones (fiction and non) lately and they were very sobering and poignant. I'm definitely going to look this one up!

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