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Monday, November 13, 2017

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

The Boy on the Wooden BoxThe Boy on the Wooden Box is a memoir which recounts the horrors of living through the Holocaust in WWII Poland.  Leon Leyson's childhood was fairly typical until the Germans invaded his country, and his life was changed forever.  Leon endured hardship after hardship just trying to survive with his family during the war, but things quickly went from bad to worse to horrific when they were evicted from their home and sent to live in the ghetto.  Eventually they were sent to a work camp where the conditions were like living in a never-ending nightmare.  Leon's struggle to find food, keep warm, and simply stay alive from one day to the next was almost impossible until a man named Oskar Schindler saved him and his family.

You may have heard of the film "Schindler's List," the true story of a Nazi businessman who took pity on over 1,200 Jews and saved them from certain death by employing them in his factory.  He convinced the Nazi soldiers that those whose names were on his "list" were essential to running his factory which made ammunition among other things necessary to fight the war, and they must be spared.  Fortunately for Leon, he along with his parents and brother were on the list.  Sadly, Leon lost his two other brothers and every member of his mother's family in the Holocaust.

Leon was eventually freed at the end of the war and made his way to America with his parents.  He never talked about his experiences during the war, and only after the famous movie came out in 1993 did he begin to speak in public about  his childhood.  This eventually led him to write this book which wasn't published until after his death in 2013.

I recommend this book because it tells a true story from a child's perspective about a time in history that everyone should know about. Leon wrote that Oskar Schindler proved that one person can stand up to evil and make a difference.

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