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The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero
The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero
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Award Winners Reviewed Titles Accelerated Reader
Capstone Editions

The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero

by Amalia Hoffman
Illustrated by Chiara Fedele

Once a skinny and weak child, Gino Bartali rose to become a Tour de France champion and one of cycling's greatest stars. But all that seemed unimportant when his country came under the grip of a brutal dictator and entered World War II on the side of Nazi Germany. Bartali might have appeared a mere bystander to the harassment and hatred directed toward Italy’s Jewish people, but secretly he accepted a role in a dangerous plan to help them. Putting his own life at risk, Bartali used his speed and endurance on a bike to deliver documents Jewish people needed to escape harm. His inspiring story reveals how one person could make a difference against violence and prejudice during the time of the Holocaust.

Reading LevelGrades 3-6
Interest LevelGrades 3-4
Lexile Level920L
ATOS Level5.5
AR Points0.5
AR Quiz #502770
Text TypeNarrative Nonfiction
PublisherCapstone Editions
BrandCapstone Editions
Page Dimensions11" x 9"
Page Count40
School/Library Price



Pragmatic Mom - Mia Wenjen

"His acts of heroism, modestly hidden away, now shine beside his athletic achievements." - Pragmatic Mom

May 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews

"Fedele's illustrations in mostly dark hues will appeal to sports fans with their action-oriented scenes. Young readers of World War II stories will gain an understanding from the somber wartime pages. What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable springboard." - Kirkus Reviews

May 15, 2019


Nonfiction Detectives - Louise Capizzo

"The powerful narrative is greatly enhanced by Italian artist, Chiara Fedele’s expressive illustrations. . . .This inspiring story of courage shows that one person really can make a difference. Bartali’s legend lives on in Italy." - Nonfiction Detectives

October 18, 2019

Jewish Book Council - Emily Schneider

"This book is highly recommended for children as well as for caregivers and educators looking for an unusual approach to heroism during the Holocaust." - Jewish Book Council

August 15, 2019


Association of Jewish Libraries, News & Reviews - Ellen G. Cole, retired librarian, Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles, CA

"This fast-paced picture book starts in Florence with a weak, young, poor boy named Gino Bartali riding a rusty, second-hand bicycle. . . .The illustrations are modern, mobile and sophisticated, strengthening the message of the text through the expressive faces. The palette is subdued, underlining the woes of war. This courageous hero is recognized at Yad Vashem, and on bike paths named in his honor around Jerusalem." - Association of Jewish Libraries, News & Reviews

November 1, 2019

School Library Journal - Parnell Memorial Library, Montevallo, AL

"Hoffman’s clear writing and Fedele’s lush illustrations make the heavy subject matter of the Holocaust comprehensible to younger readers. The story of how an ordinary boy became an extraordinary athlete is enough to pull in those reluctant to read about the Holocaust. The book shows that anyone can use their unique skills to be a hero. . . .Hoffman offers an accessible biography about a little-known athlete and Holocaust hero; a much-needed addition to historical collections." - School Library Journal

July 1, 2019


Columbus Jewish News, "Best Bets for Bibliophiles" - Abby Cymerman

"If you’re looking for a way to explain the Holocaust to middle schoolers, check out this story of Gino Bartali, an Italian cyclist and Tour de France champion..." - Columbus Jewish News, "Best Bets for Bibliophiles"

December 5, 2109


Columbus Jewish News

2019 Gift Guide: Best Chanukah Gifts for Book Lovers

December 1, 2019

Junior Library Guild

Fall 2019 Junior Library Guild Selection

September 1, 2019

Amalia Hoffman

Amalia Hoffman

Amalia Hoffman is an author, illustrator, and storyteller. Her board book Dreidel Day was selected as a PJ Library book and received the PJ Library Author Incentive Award. Two board books, Astro Pea and All Colors, followed in 2019. Here other books include The Klezmer Bunch and Purim Goodies. Amalia designed and illustrated Rose Bud, an oversized book with pop-up elements, for Israel’s children’s theater, The Train. Her article “Queen Esther and I” was published in Highlights Magazine for Children in March 2016.             Amalia grew up in Jerusalem, Israel, and now resides in Westchester, New York. She frequently presents her books in schools, libraries, bookstores, and community centers.  

Go to the Author’s Page →