Ayer juxtaposes the stories of two WWII youths, one a German Jew and the other a Hitler Youth, excerpted from their published memoirs. "Weak execution undermines the premise of the volume," said PW. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Grade 7 Up?This is a book to make your blood run cold. Through Ayer's narrative and excerpts from Heck's memoirs, A Child of Hitler and The Burden of Hitler's Legacy, readers learn how Alfons changed from a loving, wholesome boy to a "Nazi devil" (even the Germans called the elite Hitler Youth by that name). It is frightening to see how easily young people can be swayed, and readers learn just how it happened. Alternating chapters reveal Helen Waterford's story through excerpts from her book, Commitment to the Dead, and Ayer's background material. Fleeing with her fiancee to Amsterdam after Kristallnacht, Helen was again caught in the Nazi noose and struggled to survive. As her plight grew more desperate, Alfons rose higher and higher in the Hitler Youth. Eventually, when he and his ragged corps faced annihilation by the Russians, he realized how Hitler had sacrificed his "children." When Alfons and Helen met in the U.S. 40 years after the war, they found that they shared a common purpose: to help young people understand that peace and compassion are possible between individuals, and on a larger scale as well. Their first-person accounts are interwoven with Ayer's words so seamlessly that readers are unaware of the intrusion of a third person. She is an excellent biographer, capturing nuances of her subjects' characters and personality traits. A fascinating work.?Marcia W. Posner, Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County, Glen Cove, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Parallel Journeys is an excellent book that recounts the stories of Hitler Youth member Alfons Heck and Helen Waterford, a Jewish woman, side by side. Read morePublished 3 months ago by JD
I loved the story and all the details of the two lives . It is a story that every teenager should have to read before they turn 18Published 4 months ago by spmorton
A book. What else to add. If you like the Genre you like this as well.Published 5 months ago by TLB
I found this book very intriguing. To see the same time period through two different sets of eyes was quite enlightening. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sr. Brian Marie Latour
I found myself saying time after time, "I'll only read a few more pages and take a break." Time and again I failed. Read morePublished 6 months ago by mom_of_2_boys
This is a great book! This should be a must read for every young person - to be sure that we do not allow another "holocaust" to happen. Read morePublished 9 months ago by S. Anderson
Imagine hearing the WW ll story from two different perspectives from two people on opposite sides.
This is probably 8th grade reading level but that's fine. Read more