* 2-5 BI PB Reviewed by Marsha D. Broadway Five-year-old Hiroki Sugihara, the oldest son of the Japanese consul to Lithuania in 1940, was awaken by his mother and aunt one July morning. Hundreds of Jewish refugees from Poland were seeking visas to escape the Nazis. Authorized to allow only a few refugees into Japan, Chinue Sugihara requested permission three times from the Japanese government to issue the hundreds of needed visas and each time the answer was no.”That night, he said to my mother, æI have to do something. I may have to disobey my government, but if I don't, I will be disobeying God.'“ After the family agreed that they must help the refugees, Sugihara issued thousands of handwritten visas until he was ordered to go to Berlin. Told through the eyes of a five-year-old, the events are related with a poignant naivety. Complimenting the text are emotionally powerful illustrations rendered in sepia tones by applying encaustic beeswax on paper and scratching out the images, then adding oil paint and colored pencil. In the afterword, Hiroki Sugihara tells of the family's imprisonment in a Soviet internment camp, and his father's forced resignation from diplomatic service. This story, about having the courage to do the right thing, should be shared with every child for its historic and human value. An outstanding choice for any libraryûschool, public, or personal.
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