Friday, April 29, 2016

The Boy On The Wooden Box

Title: The Boy On The Wooden Box

Author: Leon Leyson

First Published: August 27th 2013

Series: Stand alone

Genre: Nonfiction, Autobiography/Memoir, Historical

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 240

My Copy: Physical copy

My Rating: 8.5/10

Goodreads Summary
Even in the darkest of times—especially in the darkest of times—there is room for strength and bravery. A remarkable memoir from Leon Leyson, one of the youngest children to survive the Holocaust on Oskar Schindler’s list.

Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.

This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s List child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. Most notable is the lack of rancor, the lack of venom, and the abundance of dignity in Mr. Leyson’s telling. The Boy on the Wooden Box is a legacy of hope, a memoir unlike anything you’ve ever read.

It's not very often I find myself reading a nonfiction book - a memoir even! But when I picked up this book and read the blurb, I found myself wanting to read it all and know the story.

This tells the life of a ten year old boy during the Holocaust. It's painful to see how such a young boy had to go through, endure so much. Then you remember that there are so many more stories that are the same, so many that you don't even know about.

How many books about the Holocaust have you read? I admit I haven't read that many, though I feel that I should. I've read some fictional ones (the Once series by Morris Gleitzman) and they are all heart-breaking in a sense. Though I think they all have recurring themes in them: despair and hope. Two very contrasting words, but I think they are prominent in this very book. Living in a Nazi-conquered Poland must not have been very pleasant, especially for Jews. For all those Jews living in pain must have been despairing and horrifying, because you never know which moment is your last. But in that fear rises hope - hope for a better day, hope for surviving until the end, hope that there are some people left with enough humanity in them.

This book also revolves around Oskar Schindler, the man who saved many Jews during his lifetime. Since Leon Leyson was one of those people, he felt incredibly grateful. For him, Schindler is his hero. The things Schindler does for these people despite being a Nazi shows that not all Nazis were cruel, inhumane beings, but rather kind and had enough humanity left in them to see right from wrong.

I think this book is definitely worth the read, especially if you are interested in the Second World War and what happened during these fateful times. Don't let the genre of nonfiction put you off reading this great book! I thought it was a great book and it really gives a deep insight on the Holocaust from one boy's perspective.

My Chosen Quote
"A hero is an ordinary human being who does the best of things in the worst of times."

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