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Brave Deeds

Written by Ann Alma

  • 96 Pages
  • 9780888997913
  • 8.880" x 5.810"
  • Reading age from 9 to 12
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Holocaust
  • JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Europe
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / Prejudice & Racism


Publication Date May 01, 2008

In the winter of 1944-45 when Holland was under Nazi rule, life for the Dutch people was extremely harsh and the future bleak. Everyone was cold and hungry. Thousands of people, especially Jews who had managed to escape transport to the death camps, were in hiding. Resistance workers bravely tried to sabotage the Germans as they fought to free Holland. But some went to extraordinary lengths -- they harbored in their homes people who faced certain death.

Told through the eyes of a fictional child, this is the otherwise true story of the Braal family who, despite putting themselves and those they loved in great danger, saved many, many lives. Frans Braal, a resistance worker, and his wife, Mies, first took in an injured Canadian airman. He was just the beginning. The Braals moved to a larger place in the country, where they would be less visible, and took in anyone in need of help -- Jews, children, resistance fighters and people who were starving. The Braal family has made photographs and keepsakes from the time available for use in the book. An epilogue, historical notes and glossary are included.

Short-listed for the Chocolate Lily Award - Chapter Book 2009

Long-listed for the OLA Golden Oak Award 2010

Selected for the OLA Silver Birch Award 2009

Selected for the OLA Silver Birch Award 2009


Ann Alma
Ann Alma was born and raised in the Netherlands and was a teacher for many years. Her novel, Summer of Changes, won a Silver Birch Regional Award. She now spends her time writing at her home in the Kootenay mountains of British Columbia.


"...a great introduction for younger readers to the courage and principles of the Braals and others like them who saved a great many lives." Jewish Book World

"...large in ideas and important...Brave Deeds is an informative resource...A tribute to people of courage, and a challenge to those whow onder if they would ever have such courage. Highly Recommended." CM Magazine

"A vibrant, mischievous face beams out of Ann Alma's Brave Deeds...Alma brings this heroic domesticity to life in a way that's both informative and engaging." Toronto Star

"The history is thrilling...the chores, hunger, and hardship; the terrifying raids; the heroic sacrifice...What will excite kids are the facts, fully explained...and the many archival black-and-white photos..." Booklist

"...genuinely moving...librarians might recommend this to sensitive teens interested in the Holocaust." VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

" engaging and informative story that inspires without being saccharine or preachy. Including such resources as an epilogue, historical notes, and a glossary means that the book will be a useful educational source as well. Brave Deeds makes a fine contribution to Holocaust and Second World War literature for children." Quill & Quire

"The author, [Ann Alma], is a friend of the Braals...and her information comes directly from the survivors...Alma's tribute to an ordinary family who took extraordinary risks is commendable, and the numerous photographs from the family's archives are very helpful." School Library Journal

"The bravery of the Braals is more than apparent in the hiding of so many under such difficult circumstances, but it is played out movingly in the dailyness of life at Her Buitenhuis, in the provisions of meals almost from thin air, and the comfort and courage from a seemingly bottomless well." Globe and Mail