The Boy on the Wooden Box

Written by Elisabeth B. Leyson Leon Leyson Marilyn J. Harran
Review by Hilary Daninhirsch

This inspiring memoir is a perfect way to introduce young children to Holocaust literature. Leon Leyson was born Leib Lejzon in a rural area of Poland in 1929. Conditions for the Jews in Poland were deteriorating each year; Leyson and his family eventually were forced out of their home into the Krakow ghetto and eventually into concentration camps. But it was a chance meeting with Oskar Schindler, a Nazi businessman, that saved Leyson’s life. At the age of thirteen, Leyson become the youngest person whose name appeared on the now famous Schindler’s List. He worked for Schindler in his enamelware factory, having to stand on a wooden box to be able to reach his workstation; Schindler appeared to take a liking to the young Leyson. Leyson’s memoir is a captivating read, and powerful in its straightforwardness and simplicity. The book is also a tribute to the man who saved Leyson’s life and the lives of more than 1000 Jews.