Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story

By Ken Mochizuki
Illustrated by Dom Lee

Paperback: $9.95

CD: $12.95

Six Pack: $59.70

As a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania in the 1940s, Chiune Sugihara had a chance to help thousands of Jews escape the Holocaust through Japan, but it was against his government's orders. When his five-year-old son Hiroki asked, "If we don't help them, won't they die?" Sugihara decided to assist the refugees.

Based on Hiroki Sugihara's own words, Passage to Freedom is the first fully illustrated children's book to tell Sugihara's heroic story, highlighting his courageous humanity, and the importance of a child's opinion in his father's decision.

Check out the research-based read aloud and paired text lessons for Passage to Freedom created by the staff at the award-winning, non-profit

Check out the classroom-tested, teacher-created lesson plan, provided by Achieve the Core, a Student Achievement Partners website designed to help educators understand and implement the Common Core State Standards.

Use Passage to Freedom with the field-tested lesson plan, Walk a Quote: A Lesson Based on the Sugihara Story, by Valerie Person, provided by the Museum Teachers Fellows of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

For classroom resources, check out the article “What is Good Citizenship? The Story of Chiune Sugihara” by Dr. J. Allen Bryant of Appalachian State University in Social Studies and the Young Learner, a journal from the National Council for the Social Studies.

Check out the Activity Guide from Live Oak Media, which creates readalongs to help children learn to read and develop language skills.

Discover more reading and craft tips created by the staff and partners of Reading to Kids, a grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring underserved children with a love of reading.

About the Creators

Thumb_thumb Ken Mochizuki - Author

is the award-winning author of numerous books for children from LEE & LOW. Mr. Mochizuki lives in Seattle, Washington, where he teaches, writes children's books, and gives presentations about his work full time.

Thumb_thumb Dom Lee

was born in Seoul, South Korea, and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. With his unique style of art combining techniques of painting and scratching details in encaustic wax, Lee has illustrated many award-winning picture books for children for LEE & LOW . He lives with his wife and children in Demarest, New Jersey. To find out more about Dom Lee, visit

About This Title


Paperback: 9781584301578

Hardcover: 9781880000496

CD: 9781591123330

Six Pack: 9781584303831


Texas Bluebonnet Masterlist
Texas Library Association (TLA)

Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor Book
American Library Association (ALA)

Starred Review
Publishers Weekly

Parent's Choice Gold Award
Parents' Choice Foundation

Teacher's Choices
International Reading Association (IRA)

Notable Books for a Global Society
International Reading Association (IRA)

Books to Read Aloud to Children of All Ages
Bank Street College

Children's Bookseller's Choice
American Bookseller's Association

Children's Peace Book Awards
California Peace Education Fund

Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)

Close the Book on Hate Reading List
Anti-Defamation League

Honor Book Award
Society of School Librarians International

Jewish Book Award Finalist
Jewish Book Council

Los Angeles' 100 Best Books
International Reading Association (IRA)

Nominee, Picture Book for Older Readers
California Young Readers Medal

Notable Children's Book

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
National Council for the Social Studies/ Children's Book Council

Pick of the List
American Bookseller's Association

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Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 1 - 6

Reading Level:

Grades 2 - 3


Nonfiction, War, Responsibility, Overcoming Obstacles, Multiethnic interest, Jewish Interest, Immigration, History, Heroism, Fathers, Families, Discrimination, Asian/Asian American Interest, Empathy/Compassion, Integrity/Honesty , Leadership, People In Motion, Persistence/Grit, Respect/Citizenship, World War II, Pride, Collaboration, Courage, Gratitude, Protest, Tolerance/Acceptance

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