Reviews & Praise

The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
By Doreen Rappaport


  • Sydney Taylor Silver Award for Teen Readers, Association of Jewish Libraries
  • Orbis Pictus Awards for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, Recommended Book, NCTE (national Council of Teachers of English)
  • 2013 Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for Non fiction, 2013 Bank Street Children’s Book Committee
  • ALA Notable Book for Older Readers
  • Capitol Choices 2013 list of Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens.
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2013, a cooperative project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council
  • Core Collections Star title, EBSCO Publishing. Publishers Weekly Best Books 2012
  • Booklist Top Ten Religion Books 2012
  • The Washington Post Book World Best Kids Books  2012
  • Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012
  • The New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2012
  • Tablet Magazine Best Jewish Children’s Book of 2012
  • Book Links “Lasting Connections” Winner
  • ALSC Notable Children’s Book
  • VOYA Nonfiction Honor List
  • Arkansas Teen Book Awards Reading List for Young Adults
  • Oregon Reader’s Choice Nominee


Doreen Rappaport has unearthed remarkable stories of Jews (and Gentiles) who saw what was happening and engaged in harrowing attempts to thwart the Nazi project. Jewish partisans played cat-and-mouse with German troops, bombing military transports, shooting informers and collaborators, and dynamiting German army warehouses. Ms. Rappaport introduces readers ages 14 and older to valiant Jewish children like the 12-year-old violinist and spy, nicknamed Motele, who blew up a building full of SS officers in occupied Ukraine… With numerous archival photographs, including portraits of the brave individuals it describes, Beyond Courage is beautifully designed and a sobering, bittersweet read.”The Wall Street Journal (December 12, 2012)

“It’s a rigorously reported yet fluidly written look at Jews from various countries and backgrounds who fought back against the Nazis in different ways. Rappaport educates readers about different kinds of resistance and shows how Jews and non-Jews worked together to save lives and obstruct Hitler’s plans. Beyond Courage is illustrated with maps and vintage photographs and dotted with contemporary poems and letters. Plus Rappaport breaks new research ground; some of the stories in this book have never been reported before. This book has rightly gotten starred reviews from every review outlet that bestows stars; it’s a vital contribution to Holocaust literature as well as a very gripping book.” –Tablet Magazine, (December 2012)

“Beyond Courage is full of the kinds of stories that give you gooseflesh and Rappaport presents the faces of many of individuals involved in various forms of resistance. What is striking about their images is that, apart from the dated attire, they look just like you and me —a reminder that tremendous acts of courage were carried out by ordinary people who took a stand under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Rappaport is to be commended on a book devoted purely to those acts of courage, recognizing and remembering the Jewish heroes of our not-too-distant past.” — Jewish Book World Magazine, (Jewish Book Council. Winter/2012)

“Rappaport, who has a long history of writing books . . . about justice and injustice in such arenas as the civil rights movement and women’s history, has written the kind of narrative that can change readers’ perceptions; her commitment to recovering stories of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust is not only powerful but also historically significant. By gathering and carefully organizing accounts from throughout the Nazi era, she is able to relate the entire tragedy and at the same time to challenge us to see it anew: instead of the inexorable slide into death, we witness the choice to fight.

At each beat of the familiar story of extermination, she finds examples of almost inconceivable courage, and actual success in resisting the Nazis. Rappaport’s devotion to uncovering these instances, whether issuing from academic papers, museums, interviews or memoirs, and her care with narrative structure, locating the rare archival images and using them generously throughout, is truly magnificent. On each page you sense that it meant everything to her to track down the truth and get it exactly right…Her book belongs in every library and home where we ask young people to learn about historical change. — The New York Times  (November 12, 2012)

A Junior Literary Guild Selection

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. A wealth of black and white photographs enhances the presentation, with images ranging from the bravado of freedom fighters posed with their weapons, to the despair of victims awaiting execution, to the solidarity of survivors at post-war reunions.   Consider this a required purchase for young adult nonfiction collections.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review, November, 2012)

“Readers will be pulled in by Rappaport’s focus on specific events and people, a large portion of them young people, a lot of whom are depicted in the many photographs. The emotional immediacy of the subject matter combined with Rappaport’s clear prose and excellent design layout incorporating poetry, photography, maps, artifacts and songs, all combine to make this an extraordinary effort.”  — Angela Carstensen, school librarian and blogger, Shelf Awareness (starred review, September 2012)

“This book captures the essence of Jewish resistance in an attention-grabbing and touching collection of personal stories complemented by powerful photographs. The photographs along with the sentimental poems express people’s triumphant spirit during horrid times. This informational text extends beyond the ordinary description of history and integrates narratives that illuminate stories of love and sacrifice. Rappaport has exhaustively complied personal stories of Jewish survival into a desirable read.” — Brad Veeder, Social Studies Teacher, State University of New York at New Paltz, Library Media Connection (Recommended, Jan./Feb.2013 issue)

“In a thoroughly researched project far more ambitious and expansive than her acclaimed picture-book nonfiction, Rappaport has assembled more than 20 stories of Jewish resistance to the Holocaust, some never before told. From all corners of Nazi-occupied Europe, these harrowing accounts are heart-wrenching and hopeful as they pay tribute to the brave thousands who defied their oppressors in ways large and small. These true stories honor the incredible human spirit in the face of unimaginable suffering and torment.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The very model of excellence in nonfiction…Thorough, deeply researched and stylistically clear, this is a necessary, exemplary book.” — Kirkus Reviews (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)

“An important addition to the Holocaust curriculum.” — Booklist (starred review)

An amazing book.” — Jewish Image Magazine (starred review)

“Doreen Rappaport’s book is an important contribution to Holocaust literature for young readers. Its compelling stories reflect the geographic diversity of Europe’s Jewish communities, and represent several types of resistance. The narrative style is engaging, and presents stories against the larger context of the Nazi war against the Jews. Profusely illustrated, the book is a valuable tool for teaching themes of Jewish resistance” –Bonnie Gurewitsch, Archivist/Curator Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York

“This is a gorgeous work of nonfiction for ages 10 and up… on the children’s side of things we have very little on this particular topic.” — Elizabeth Bird, Youth Materials Collections Specialist, New York Public Library

“A riveting collection of vignettes about Jewish heroism and resistance in the Holocaust, BEYOND COURAGE will surely engage and inspire young adults and will challenge misconceptions held by many.” –Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League

“Doreen Rappaport’s has undertaken a monumental task of chronicling the many resistance actions taken by the persecuted Jewish population in Nazi-occupied countries throughout Europe during World War II. Though some of these accounts have been written about in individual books over the years, this is a well-researched summary under one cover, and therefore a valuable resource for both researchers and students.” –Kurt Goldberger, President, and Margaret Goldberger, Chair of the KTA Speakers Bureau, Kindertransport Association of North America

BEYOND COURAGEThe Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
Author: Doreen Rappaport

Pages: 240, Illustrated, nonfiction
Pub Date: September, 2012
Ages:  10 and up
Hardcover: $22.99 ($27.00 CAN)
LC: 201104116, ISBN: 978-0-7637-2976-2

Candlewick Press


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