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Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story

by Ken Mochizuki

Other authors: Hiroki Sugihara (Afterword)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4352242,404 (4.38)2
A biography of Chiune Sugihara, who with his family's encouragement saved thousands of Jews in Lithuania during World War II.



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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Genre:Historical fiction

This book is about a family (Sugihara) who are stationed in Lithuania during World War II. He decided to risk it all to help save Jewish people from the Germans by granting them visas to flee the country. This can be used as a way to talk about World War II from a different perspective. It can be used as a way to create empathy with the students.
  Emmerie | Apr 26, 2017 |
In the 1940's, a Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara, personally wrote thousands of visas so that Jewish refugees would be able to flee Lithuania and escape Nazi soldiers. He did this even after being told "no" by the Japanese government and knowing that his actions could put his family in danger. He had the ability to save thousands of lives and decided to act on it. The story is written in the point of view of his son and describes what his father and family went through during this time. There is also additional information in the back of the book about Chiune Sugihara and the events that followed after.

This story isn't very well-known but it should be. So often we learn about the atrocities that happened during WWll but not of the sacrifices and acts of courage that also took place. ( )
  JessicaGarcia6 | Mar 26, 2017 |
Passage to Freedom by Ken Mochizuki is a fragment of Hiroki Sugihara’s life. The excerpt captures the time when thousands of Jewish Refugees came to his father, a Japanese diplomat for visas in order to escape the Nazi threats. When Hiroki’s father contacted his government he was instructed not to give out the visas but after many days of personal searching and support from his family he decided to go against the government and issue as many visas as he could. Following this choice they were eventually asked to leave Lithuania, Hiroki’s father continued to write visas till their train left the station. At the end of the book Hiroki states he didn’t understand at the time the strength it took to make that important decision that saved so many.
I absolutely loved this book! It was so detailed with description of the refugees, the turmoil his father went through, and the pure joy the refugees experience when receiving the news they would be given visa. This time in history is so important for our youth to understand. The level of discrimination and hatred is overwhelming and something we need to work so hard to avoid in the future; therefore, writing a children’s book about it is something I am thrilled to learn exists. I also liked how at the end of the book they included more information about Hiroki’s life after leaving Lithuania. Overall just a very wonderful book full of factual information, suspense, and a true representation of hope and humanity.
The grade I hope to teach would be a little too young to understand this content but I would hope that every class would find a way to in cooperate this book. It would be a great start to a unit over the Holocaust and open a discussion about what exactly occurred. This book is full of wonderful adjectives which leads me to think that this is a fantastic book to tie a history element into an adjective lesson. The teacher could read this book with the class and ask them to point out the adjectives and what tone they help to portray. Also since the main character in this book co-wrote the book this would be an awesome author study within a history unit. Overall, I loved this book.
  Linzie12 | Mar 13, 2017 |
This is a great book to read aloud to second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders who are learning about Nazi Germany and refugees. The book is very long, so the attention span of any younger children would keep them from receiving all of the information that the text has to offer. The book may need to be read over a span of a few days. The book could be utilized as an uncommon perspective view point, since most of Nazi stories are told from the perspectives of either Jewish or German people. The book is somewhat dark and talks about a gruesome subject, so it is important that the book would be used with the right group of students. The book provides great discussion topics for students and the classroom setting.
  jthodesen01 | Mar 9, 2017 |
This story is written in the point of view of a young boy. He is the eldest son of the Japanese consul to Lithuania. There were many Jewish refugees that had come to get visa's so they could escape to another country. The boy's father, wrote thousands of visas to help the Jewish refugees. He went against the government and put his family danger, but knew it was the right thing to do. GENRE: historical fiction. USES: to teach putting others first, history. MEDIA: encaustic beeswax on paper with scratched out images, and oil paint and colored pencil. CRITIQUE: This book puts you in the shoes of a young boy who doesn't understand everything that is happening in the world, but knows he must help others before himself. It is very thought provoking. The illustrations match the mood of the story.
  Adrinnon | Apr 12, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ken Mochizukiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lee, DomIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sugihara, HirokiAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sarfatti, EstherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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A biography of Chiune Sugihara, who with his family's encouragement saved thousands of Jews in Lithuania during World War II.

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Lee & Low Books

4 editions of this book were published by Lee & Low Books.

Editions: 1880000490, 1584301570, 1880000814, 1880000822

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