Saturday, December 8, 2012

Beyond Courage : The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

Title: Beyond Courage : The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

Author: Doreen Rappaport; Read by Jeff Crawford and Emily Beresford

Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio

ISBN: 9781469206103

Length: 4 Discs ; 4 hours, 37 minutes + Bonus Disc

Obtained: Library copy


I don't know where to start.  This book drew my attention from the moment I first saw it.  I tried checking it out in print first, but just never got around to it before it was due back.  I started listening to it in audio (soon after watching The Devils' Arithmetic, as it happens).  A mixture of mostly horrifying statistics and gripping stories of individuals and groups who fought back make this an inspiring read and a great resource.  It covers everything from when the tension (and deception) was first starting, to ghettos, to labor, transit, concentration, and death camps (and more, really, than you may have realized was involved).  Poems and songs written by Jewish people during that make for all the more impact. 

My problem was listening to this kind of writing and detail took quite a bit of concentration.  When I listen to audiobooks, I tend to be doing something else as well (for instance, driving) and need to be able to pay attention to both.  This meant I missed details.  Sometimes I could backtrack, but sometimes that just wasn't convenient.  I checked out the print version (after listening to the audio) so I could see the pictures, re-read some of the poems, and just absorb some of the information I had heard.

I recommend reading this, and if you listen to the audio, either have the print or bonus disc (contains the photographs and poems plus important dates - requires Adobe Flash) on hand or be able to devote all of your attention to just listening.  Whatever you decided, seeing the pictures and poems are worth it.

This is technically considered a MG juvenile book.  Though I definitely feel adults can read and learn from it (I certainly did), if a child you know is studying the Holocaust, you might recommend this as a reference.


  1. I understand about hitting the back button. It took me months to be able to listen to audio books while driving. Most of the time, I'd hit replay at the red light. ;) Now that I've done it for what? Five years? It's become second nature. Now that I am tired in the evenings, I'll listen verses reading. It's nice to just close my eyes and take in the story.

    1. I've adjusted more as I've listened to more audiobooks, but this one was especially difficult. I still don't think I could do that though. Or rather I have, I fell asleep, and the next morning I had to do major backtracking.

    2. That's the reason I no longer listen in bed. It's like taking a sleeping!


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