The Boy on the Wooden Box

How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler's List

The Boy on the Wooden Box

For Ages: 9 - 14
  • 24
In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto.

Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.

This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s List child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. Most notable is the lack of rancor, the lack of venom, and the abundance of dignity in Mr. Leyson’s telling. The Boy on the Wooden Box is a legacy of hope, a memoir unlike anything you’ve ever read.
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442497818 | 
  • August 2013 | 
  • Grades 4 - 9 | 
  • Lexile ® 1000L
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About the Author

Leon Leyson
Photograph credit Lis Leyson

Leon Leyson

Leon Leyson was one of the youngest members of Schindler’s List. He brings a unique perspective to the history of the Holocaust and a powerful message of courage and humanity. Believing that no one would be interested in his story, he rarely spoke about his experiences until the film Schindler’s List received worldwide attention.

A graduate of Los Angeles City College; California State University, Los Angeles; and Pepperdine University, he taught at Huntington Park High School in Huntington Park, California, for thirty-nine years. In recognition of his many accomplishments as educator and witness to the Holocaust, Mr. Leyson was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Chapman University.

Mr. Leyson passed away in January 2013, leaving behind his wife, Lis; their two children; and six grandchildren.

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