The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible... on Schindler’s List

Leon Leyson, with Marilyn J. Harran and Elisabeth B. Leyson. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4424-9781-8
Leyson, who died in January at age 83, was No. 289 on Schindler’s list and its youngest member. He was just 13 when Leyson’s father convinced Oskar Schindler to let “Little Leyson” (as Schindler knew him) and other family members find refuge in the Emalia factory; Leyson was so small he had to stand on a box to work the machinery. Leyson and his coauthors give this wrenching memoir some literary styling, but the book is at its most powerful when Leyson relays the events in a straightforward manner, as if in a deposition, from the shock of seeing his once-proud father shamed by anti-Semitism to the deprivation that defined his youth. Schindler remains a kindly but enigmatic figure in Leyson’s retelling, occasionally doting but usually distant. Leyson makes it clear that being “Schindler Jews” offered a thread of hope, but it never shielded them from the chaos and evil that surrounded them. Readers will close the book feeling that they have made a genuinely personal connection to this remarkable man. Ages 9–14. Agent: Peter Steinberg, the Steinberg Agency. (Aug.) ■
Reviewed on: 07/01/2013
Release date: 08/27/2013
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4711-1993-4
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4424-9782-5
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