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Children's LiteratureMade famous by Thomas Keneally's book and Steven Spielberg's movie, both titled Schindler's List, Oskar Schindler remains nevertheless an enigmatic figure, as chronicled in this "Heroes and Villains" series book. A Nazi for business reasons rather than ideology; a high-liver who would do anything for a good time regardless of who might be hurt; a black marketeer, smuggler, liar, briber, risk-taker to the extreme; and also the undisputed savior of 1100 Jewish lives at the constant risk of his own—Schindler was a complicated character, to say the least. But Schindler emerges from this highly readable account as a hero, flawed though he may be, who, in the final analysis, was driven by his heart, although it was a close second to his pocketbook. His sheltering of the famous "List" Jews is legendary and nearly unexplainable without crediting it to his heart. How else to understand his building of a factory to give them work; taking in the too-old, too-young, too-sick; listing them all as specialists without which the factory could not produce needed war materials; smuggling in extra food and medicines—any of which potentially could land him in a concentration camp himself? And in the end, Schindler expends his complete fortune to safeguard his people, so that he himself is forced to survive on charity from the grateful survivors until his burial in Jerusalem. Wukovits has written an unforgettable book, with frequent sidebars and numerous compelling photographs, that belongs on every library shelf. 2003, Lucent/Gale, Ages 14 up.
— Judy Chernak