- Age Range: 10 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 630 (What's this?)
- Series: Jane Addams Honor Book (Awards)
- Hardcover: 112 pages
- Publisher: Clarion Books (May 3, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544223799
- ISBN-13: 978-0544223790
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler (Jane Addams Honor Book (Awards)) Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Though the story of the White Rose student resistance in Nazi Germany has been told elsewhere, Freedman's focus on the youth of the participants will resonate with readers. Hans Scholl, a free-spirited teen who became disillusioned by the enforced conformity of his Hitler Youth group, joined a banned rival group that discussed forbidden books, and there were no uniforms or marching. Younger sister Sophie got in trouble for reading a book by a Jewish German poet and questioning the pervasive anti-Semitism of her society. While attending school in Munich, the siblings became active in a group of anti-Hitler pamphleteers. The story has its share of dark turns, including arrests, lengthy detentions, and the eventual trial and execution by guillotine of Hans and Sophie. But Freedman treats these aspects gracefully, and the overarching message is one of defiant resistance in the face of overwhelming evil. "You will go down in history," their father, an outspoken pacifist, told them after their conviction. "There is such a thing as justice despite this. I am proud of both of you." Stock photos from the period are adeptly interspersed with personal snapshots and portraits to create a strong visual component. VERDICT A highly readable and well-documented overview of a fascinating aspect of World War II.-Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
2016 Kirkus Prize Finalist
Chicago Public Library Best of 2016
Kirkus Best of 2016
Raleigh News & Observer Best of 2016
Nonfiction Detectives: Best of 2016
* "A highly readable and well-documented overview of a fascinating aspect of World War II."
—School Library Journal, STARRED review
* "Among the wealth of good Holocaust literature available, Freedman's volume stands out for its focus and concision, effectively placing the White Rose in its historical context, telling the story of Nazi Germany without losing the focus on the White Rose, and doing so in just over 100 pages."
—Kirkus, STARRED review
* "Thoroughly researched, with numerous archival photos, this well-told story of the White Rose opposition unfolds chronologically and with building suspense."
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"As always, Freedman not only writes with clarity and pace but augments his text with primary-source quotes and photographs that add power and immediacy."
—Horn Book Magazine
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Top customer reviews
The story revolves primarily around several members of one family. The father was never happy about Hitler, yet his children entered the Hitler Youth for boys and similar programs for girls. It was there that they became disillusioned with what they saw. As luck would have it, the oldest child entered university to study medicine and had to do military service while studying medicine. It was there that he saw the destruction and stupidity of the war and vowed to fight it.
The individuals involved secretly printed leaflets that were distributed anonymously throughout Germany by mail. They would print them, they send them to random people that they took from phone directories, with the hope that people would give them to friends. Their activities caused massive problems for the Gestapo and tied up resources while the government tried to find who they were. Eventually, their leaflets made it into the hands of the Allies, who mass produced them and dropped them all over Germany from planes during bombing missions.
Eventually caught, none of them would give up the names of any of the others and they were sentenced to death in kangaroo courts. Nobody broke and they kept their secrets to their deaths. The Gestapo liked to use guillotines for civilian traitors, which was how they were executed. Eventually a number of members were caught, and enough were sentenced to die that it stirred up public opinion enough that the executions were stopped.
The book is well written and relatively age appropriate. Parents may want to determine for themselves how well their child can handle a book about this subject as it does deal with death and execution. Although not graphic, it might upset readers who are sensitive in the younger age brackets. I would highly recommend this, even for adults, as we can only stop mistakes in the future by studying the mistakes of the past.