Children's LiteratureIn 1949, a Canadian writer's work about Oskar Schindler wouldn't sell; in 1993 the movie Schindler's List about the very same man was named the best film of the year. Who is this Oskar Schindler? And why has his story gained so much attention and praise? In this short biography, Roberts provides readers with both the heroic and the unflattering characteristics of Schindler and poses the question "righteous man or horrible sinner?" Tracing Schindler's life as a young man, successful businessman, womanizer and hero, this biography reveals the complicated character of Oskar Schindler¾a man famous today because of his efforts to save Jews from death and danger during World War II. Although Schindler did in fact save over a thousand Jews who worked in his factory, he was no saint. Roberts ably presents both Schindler's flaws and triumphs and leaves readers with an invaluable lesson: "no matter how great our flaws or sins, we all possess the seeds of a hero." With historical photographs, a timeline and glossary, and related web sites, this book is an excellent resource for in-depth study of the Holocaust. Told objectively but without the gruesome cruelties of Nazi persecution of the Jews, this biography is particularly appropriate for young readers, giving them insight into how ordinary people are a part of world history. 2000, The Rosen Publishing Group, $19.95. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Leah Hanson
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-8-These books focus on important figures while giving historical accounts of the period. Bayer tells of Wiesel's horrific experiences in the concentration camps, his struggle to save his father's life as well as his own, and his continuing efforts "to bear witness" to persecution and injustice throughout the world. He writes and speaks to prevent the world from forgetting and possibly repeating this kind of genocide. Bayer's absorbing style gives a distinct picture to her subject. It's an unfortunate oversight that names such as Hitler and Stalin are introduced without identification, but overall this informative account is accessible to its target audience. Schindler risked his life in order to help persecuted Jews. Essentially a businessman interested in money and having a good time, he was an enigmatic figure whose heroism could not have been foreseen. A member of the Nazi party, he is credited with saving over 1000 Jews from Nazi atrocities. Unfortunately, Roberts's style is unclear and lacks focus. At times new facts are introduced without background information to make them understandable. Jack L. Roberts's Oskar Schindler (Lucent, 1996) is better organized and more clearly written.-Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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