Monday, May 14, 2012

One Person Can Make a Difference

Book Review: His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg by Louise Borden

How do you convey the terror of one of the darkest times in modern history to the young? How do you try to explain the horror of the Holocaust to your children? And how do you show the heroism of those who refuse to let the light of humanity be extinguished?

In His Name was Raoul Wallenberg, author Louise Borden manages to answer those three questions with a text that is both lyrical and profound in its simplicity. Borden shows how the life of Raoul Wallenberg was changed by the time he lived in, and how he changed history in response. Born into a life of privilege, he became a tireless advocate of those who were being ruthlessly victimized simply because of their own birthright. Borden lets us see that as Wallenberg's awareness of what is happening grows, his resolve to take a stand grows as well. History made the man, and the man made history in return.

Adult readers may find the form and content of Borden's work unfamiliar and unfulfilling. Adult readers are not the target audience of this book. It is sent out to the young, and I believe it will squarely hit that mark. It is clear that Ms. Borden knows her subject well, and I do hope that she will grace us with a more detailed full-length adult version of Raoul Wallenberg's story. Even we adults need to be reminded that "one person can make a difference in the world."