|Bartali's bicycle : the true story of Gino Bartali, Italy's secret hero|
Author: Hoyt, Megan
The inspiring, true story of Gino Bartali, a beloved Italian cyclist, a humble man, and a secret champion in the fight for human rights during WWII and the Holocaust.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 511618
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/21)
School Library Journal (+) (06/04/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2021 This lushly illustrated picture-book biography tells of Tour de France champion Gino Bartali and his heroic efforts to save Jewish people in Italy during WWII. Bartali was a popular bicycling champion, known for his training rides around Florence and the surrounding countryside. When the Nazis invaded Italy in 1943, Bartali worked as a courier for the Resistance, delivering safe-passage documents. He also sheltered a Jewish family, engineered an escape for 49 imprisoned British soldiers, and would whip up rowdy crowds of admirers to distract German soldiers during Resistance operations. The story-like text provides sufficient background to put these events into context and stresses that Bartali never talked about his contributions: though he remained a well-known public figure (and won the Tour de France a second time), he remained silent about his wartime activities, which were only revealed after his death in 2000. This attractive and engaging account of a famous athlete, recognized as Righteous Among the Nations in 2013, and his quiet heroism is inspirational and adds a unique perspective to Holocaust literature. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/04/2021 Gr 4–8—Gino Bartali was a resistance hero who used his bike, his reputation as a competitive cyclist, and his fame as a Tour de France winner not only to fool the German troops who occupied Italy but also to help hundreds of families escape during World War II. Jewish Italians were desperate to flee but needed new identities to leave the country. Bartali stuffed the lifesaving papers into the tubes of his bike, then carried on his ostensible business of training for races, all the while dropping off valuable documents, covering more than 250 miles a day over mountains, through villages, and into larger cities. When he was forced to join the militia, he used his role to locate and free prisoners and kept a family hidden in his own basement. All the while, his humility and modesty prevailed: He never discussed his role in this effort, so his heroism wasn't known until well after he died. The author uses clear, descriptive sentences that flow and paint a vivid picture. The art is striking and has an art-deco feel to it, which lends itself to the era. Each illustration shows some part or angle of Bartali's bike, and Bartali himself, dressed in colorful biking clothes, is often in the foreground while Nazis are portrayed in darker tones in the background. Back matter includes a brief time line of Bartali's life, a letter from his granddaughter, an author's note, and a list of sources. VERDICT This would be a great start for any student wanting to know more about how different people helped resist the efforts of the Nazis during World War II.—Maggie Chase, Boise State Univ., ID - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.