Children's LiteratureThe concept of the "Great Escapes" series, to "describe some of the most remarkable escapes in history," is shown in five different World War II stories of escape. Japanese diplomat Chiumi Sugihara risked his position to assist Jews to leave Lithuania before they were sent to concentration camps. Denmark"s primarily Christian population saved 90% of their 9000 Jews from the terrors of the Holocaust, first by hiding them, then by ferrying them across the strait to Sweden. These two stories detail personal courage and national determination, but the book itself points out that people escape for different reasons. Rudolf Vrba, seventeen when he entered Auschwitz, and his fellow escapee Alfred Wetzler were two ordinary Jews from Slovakia who escaped from Auschwitz in order to tell the whole world about the death camps. First, they memorized the origins of the trains arriving at the camp, the numbers of passengers and their nationalities. Then, catalyzed by reports that Hungary"s Jews were scheduled for extermination, they hid for three days in a woodpile in the camp while dogs and men searched for them. Finally they walked through enemy territory for ten days until they reached Slovakia and revealed the existence of the death camps to the Jewish leaders who tried to alert the world. Colditz prisoners, military personnel who had already escaped from other camps, prided themselves on being "the bad boys;" escape became an avocation, although success was difficult to achieve. The inmates of Sobibor, a small camp dedicated to death, rose as a mass under the leadership of Pechirsky, a Russian militia officer. Only a few escaped, but without the uprising all would have faced the gas chambers. Thisbook may be emotionally difficult for students to read, but the adventurous and the compassionate will relish these stories of human courage in the face of imprisonment and death. 2004, Lucent Books/Thomson Gale, Ages 12 up.