Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story (Rise and Shine)

by National Geographic Learning

Paperback, 2010





National Geographic School Pub (2010), Edition: 1, 32 pages


A biography of Chiune Sugihara, who with his family's encouragement saved thousands of Jews in Lithuania during World War II.

User reviews

LibraryThing member tati4books
The Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat family who lived in Lithuania in 1940. Their lives changed when they were caught in the middle of the Holocaust and faced the challenge of helping a crowd of people – Jews who were trying to escape from the Nazi. Mr. Sugihara seeks for his family support when caught in the difficult position of helping the people or obeying his government, and not being able to do much. They decide to help the crowd at their own risks. Mochizuki was able to disclose two sides of the story: the Sugihara’s family, trying to obey orders but following what they thought it was right and the refugees begging for some kindness and understanding so they could save their lives. Lee pictured people’s expressions, feelings and reality perfectly applying encaustic beeswax on paper, then scratching out images, and finally adding oil paint and colored pencil. The back cover is the visa paper issued by Sugihara for thousands of people.… (more)
LibraryThing member cedyr
Why did one Japanese in Lithuania tried to save Jew? What's in common between Japanese and Jew? or Lithuania and Japan. Honestly I don't know, or maybe none. But does it matter? Two proverbs on the back of this book says all.
If you save the life of one person, it is as if you saved the world entire - Jewish proverb.
Even a hunter cannot kill a bird that comes to him for refuge - Japanese proverb.
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LibraryThing member conuly
This is the true story - told through the eyes of his young son - of Chiune Sugihara, who saved the lives of several thousand Jews in Lithuania during the Holocaust by issuing visas for them, even though his government had told him not to, literally writing until the day he had to leave Lithuania, and throwing pieces of paper with the consulate stamp and his signature out the train as he left.

Had he saved even one person, of course, he would've done a good deed, but thousands...?

This is a truly inspiring story, and it's a good way of talking about the Second World War without having to explicitly talk about the atrocities committed, something many parents understandably don't want to do. The fear of the refugees is obvious enough, the details aren't necessary.
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LibraryThing member JanaRose1
Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat to Lithuania and his home are surrounded by Jewish refugees begging for a visa to travel to safety. Sugihara asks his government three times if he may write the visas, yet he is denied each time. Without regard for the consequences, he defies his government and writes visas for hundreds and hundreds of refugees. Through his courage and determination numerous families are saved from the Nazi’s. Throughout the book the themes of sensitivity to others, respect for family, and honor towards parents is emphasized. Overall this is a wonderful book and belongs on shelves in every school and library.… (more)
LibraryThing member librarianlou
In this "Schindler's List" true story, a young boy remembers his father's heroic actions to save a group of people from certain death at the hands of the Nazis.
LibraryThing member Zachor
A Japanese diplomat goes against his government, as great personal and professional loss, to follow his conscience and issue visas to the Jews of Lithuania during World War II.
LibraryThing member matthewbloome
This true story of a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania during WWII that signs visas for 10,000 Jewish refugees from Poland to escape the Nazis that pursue them is truly a story of heroism. The illustrations are amazing and unusual. The writing is great. What a book. I cannot praise this book highly enough. It's great.
LibraryThing member engpunk77
I never knew about this hero who forced Japan to allow thousands of Jews to seek refuge there. A warm, inspiring story about a dark period in history.

LibraryThing member alarso2
I really enjoyed reading and learning about this true story. It is narrated by a Japanese boy who's father is a Japanese diplomat to Lithuania during the Nazi occupation during World War Two. His father goes to many lengths to try to smuggle Jewish people away from the Nazis, despite their governments "allied" status. Eventually he is discovered, but he escapes, along with his son and the stories protagonist, back to Japan.… (more)
LibraryThing member Adrinnon
This story is written in the point of view of a young boy. He is the eldest son of the Japanese consul to Lithuania. There were many Jewish refugees that had come to get visa's so they could escape to another country. The boy's father, wrote thousands of visas to help the Jewish refugees. He went against the government and put his family danger, but knew it was the right thing to do. GENRE: historical fiction. USES: to teach putting others first, history. MEDIA: encaustic beeswax on paper with scratched out images, and oil paint and colored pencil. CRITIQUE: This book puts you in the shoes of a young boy who doesn't understand everything that is happening in the world, but knows he must help others before himself. It is very thought provoking. The illustrations match the mood of the story.… (more)
LibraryThing member jthodesen01
This is a great book to read aloud to second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders who are learning about Nazi Germany and refugees. The book is very long, so the attention span of any younger children would keep them from receiving all of the information that the text has to offer. The book may need to be read over a span of a few days. The book could be utilized as an uncommon perspective view point, since most of Nazi stories are told from the perspectives of either Jewish or German people. The book is somewhat dark and talks about a gruesome subject, so it is important that the book would be used with the right group of students. The book provides great discussion topics for students and the classroom setting.… (more)
LibraryThing member kk903148
Passage To Freedom, is about a young boy witnessing his father do amazing things to help people out when he was told no and did not has to. The book is set during the time of World War II. Hiroki (the little boy), witnessed as hundreds of men, women, and children lined up in front of his family's home. The family's that were lining up outside where Jewish and were trying to get away from the Nazis that were trying to destroy them. Hirokis father was there only help. He was allowed to write visas for the people to get them out of the country and out of harms way. He did this even though he was told not to due to the fact that he knew that it was the right thing to do. He spent night after night and day after preparing visas and saving peoples lives.

Personal Views: I love this book. I love that it shows how difficult it was during these times. It also shows that there were good people that were trying to help others.

1. Create a history lesson about World War II
2. Use vocabulary form the book
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LibraryThing member AdamLarson
I really enjoyed reading and learning about this true story. It is narrated by a Japanese boy whose father is a Japanese diplomat to Lithuania during the Nazi occupation during World War Two. His father goes to many lengths to try to smuggle Jewish people away from the Nazis, despite their governments "allied" status. Eventually he is discovered, but he escapes, along with his son and the stories protagonist, back to Japan. I really liked how the father in this book, despite being a “bad guy” in the sense that he was working with the Japanese, whom we were at war with, was working for the good of humanity and willing to risk a lot to try to correct/minimize the injustices carried out by the Nazis. The central message of this book is to do the right thing, even if it might get you in trouble, and even if doing the right thing isn't a popular belief at the time.
Reading Level: 1-4
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Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 9.75 inches


1584301570 / 9781584301578


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