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Brave Deeds: How One Family Saved Many…
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Brave Deeds: How One Family Saved Many People from the Nazis

by Ann Alma

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201515,329 (3.5)None

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Gr 4-7-Straddling the divide between fiction and nonfiction, Brave Deeds tells the true story of two Dutch resistance fighters through the eyes of a fictitious 11-year-old. In the fall of 1944, the anonymous narrator's parents must flee the Nazis, and she is taken in the middle of the night from their Rotterdam home to spend several months with the Braals. Frans Braal, a conscientious objector before Germany invaded Holland in 1940, is credited with leading the Dutch Resistance Movement on the island of Voorne. Together, he and his wife transformed their remote house, Het Buitenhuis, into a safe haven for all manner of refugees, risking their own lives and the lives of their young children in the process. At times, there are almost 30 adults and children living together. The day-to-day life at Het Buitenhuis is well described, but details about how Braal pulled off his various resistance exploits are absent. The author is a friend of the family about whom she writes, and her information comes directly from the survivors, with no other sources given. Alma's tribute to an ordinary family who took extraordinary risks is commendable, and the numerous photographs from the family's archives are very helpful. However, her decision to use the unnamed narrator to "stand for all children who go through war" weakens the offering and leaves readers feeling disconnected.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. ( )
  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0888997914, Hardcover)

When Holland was under Nazi rule, the Dutch lived extremely harsh lives. Thousands were in hiding, especially Jews who had managed to escape transport to the death camps. Frans Braal and his wife Mies took in anyone in need of help — Jews, children whose parents could no longer look after them, resistance fighters, and people who were starving — providing them with a temporary home. Twice their place was searched by the Nazis, and on both occasions they managed to hide everyone in time. Told through the eyes of a child, this is the story of the Braals, two people who willingly put themselves in great danger in order to save the lives of those less fortunate. Throughout, sidebars provide further information about Dutch resistance workers and traitors, Dutch Jews, bombing missions, false identity cards, the war, and more. The book also gives a flavor of wartime Dutch culture — treats, children’s games, favorite books, and a visit from Sinterklaas are all relished by the young protagonist. A glossary is also included.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:05 -0400)

When Holland was under Nazi rule, the Dutch lived extremely harsh lives. Thousands were in hiding, especially Jews who had managed to escape transport to the death camps. Frans Braal and his wife Mies took in anyone in need of help--Jews, children whose parents could no longer look after them, resistance fighters, and people who were starving--providing them with a temporary home. Twice their place was searched by the Nazis, and on both occasions they managed to hide everyone in time. Told through the eyes of a child, this is the story of the Braals, two people who willingly put themselves in great danger in order to save the lives of those less fortunate. Throughout, sidebars provide further information about Dutch resistance workers and traitors, Dutch Jews, bombing missions, false identity cards, the war, and more. The book also gives a flavor of wartime Dutch culture --treats, children's games, favorite books, and a visit from Sinterklaas are all relished by the young protagonist. A glossary is also included.… (more)

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