The Book Reviews – Website

May 16, 2008

Passage to Freedom The Sugihara Story

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Passage to Freedom The Sugihara Story

Author: Ken Mochizuki

Page Length: 30

Reading Level: 4

Genre: Narrative Non-Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: Passage to Freedom is an intriguing story about a Japanese diplomat and his family living in Lithuania in 1940.   World War ll has just begun and refugees are trying to persuade Mr. Sugihara, the diplomat, to help them get Visas to escape the Nazi’s.

Mr. Sugihara lives with his wife, sons and their aunt.  The entire family agrees that it is their duty to help as many of the refugees as they can to get out of Europe, even if it endangers their lives.  The Sugihara’s continue to help the refugees even after the Japanese government has ordered him to stop.

REVIEW:  Although this is a short book, it reveals a story of truth that is not known widely in the United States.  It is a narrative told by Hiroki Sugihara, the son of the diplomat.  I enjoyed it, because I was not aware of the works of this family who came to the aid of over 300 refugees. 

This would be a good book to read for the low level reader if they needed to do a report related to World War ll or the Holocaust.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: Main Idea and Supporting Details, Sequence of Events

RELATED BOOKS: The Snow Treasure, Diary of Anne Frank, Hanged At Auschwitz: An Extraordinary Memoire of Survival by Sim Kessel, Stephan’s Journey – A Sojourn into Freedom by Lillian Belinfante Herzberg, Kindness of Strangers by Lillian Belinfante Herzberg

MOVIE, MUSIC, ART CONNECTIONS: Schindler’s List, Diary of Anne Frank

RELATED WEBSITES:

www.allreaders.com/topics/info_22244.asp

http://library.springville.org:8000/kcweb/kcContent?isbn=1880000490&type=review&controlnumber=+++0000264

http://teacher.scholastic.com/ACTIVITIES/wwii/bboard_bio.asp

www.mandelproject.us/Person.html

REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner

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