NONFICTION

The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero

Capstone. Aug. 2019. 40p. bibliog. notes. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781684460632.
COPY ISBN
Gr 3-6–Gino Bartali transformed from skinny kid to beloved national hero when he worked hard to become the best cyclist in Italy. On his 17th birthday, Bartali began to enter cycling races. By 21, his relentless dedication and determination opened up new opportunities. Using his fame as a Tour de France winner to his advantage, he delivered documents that helped Jewish people escape the Nazi regime. Cardinal Elia Dalla Costa, the archbishop of the church in Florence, recruited Bartali to assist in this lifesaving mission. Although aiding Jewish people was a crime punishable by imprisonment or death, Bartali believed that this form of political resistance was more than worth the risk. Hoffman’s clear writing and Fedele’s lush illustrations make the heavy subject matter of the Holocaust comprehensible to younger readers. The story of how an ordinary boy became an extraordinary athlete is enough to pull in those reluctant to read about the Holocaust. The book shows that anyone can use their unique skills to be a hero. The up-to-date bibliography lists a variety of sources including books, documentaries, and news articles.
VERDICT Hoffman offers an accessible biography about a little-known athlete and Holocaust hero; a much-needed addition to historical collections

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