Grades 6 - 8
Grade level Equivalent: 4.6
Lexile Measure®: 760L
Guided Reading: Y
Type of Book: Chapter Book
- Historical Fiction
- European History
- Courage, Bravery, Heroism
- Human Rights
- World War II
About This Book
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
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Just as the Nazis are rising to power, Helmut Hubener, a German schoolboy, is caught up in all the swashbuckling bravado of his time.
The handsome storm trooper uniforms, the shiny jackboots and armbands, the rousing patriotism - all serve to draw him into this bright new world full of promise and hope.
In the beginning, Helmuth's patriotism is unwavering. But every day the rights of people all over Germany are diminishing. Jews are threatened and their businesses are being destroyed, the truth has been censored, and danger lurks everywhere. Anybody can turn on you. The world has turned upside down: Patriotism means denouncing others, love means to hate, and speaking out means treason. Silence becomes everyone's guilty secret. How much longer can Helmuth keep silent?
Now Helmuth sits in a German prison, awaiting his precarious fate. Told in flashback with breathtaking suspense, this homage to an extraordinary real life hero magnificently explores one person's responsibility to humanity, freedom, and truth.
* "She does an excellent job of conveying the political climate surrounding Hitler's ascent to power, seamlessly integrating a complex range of socioeconomic conditions into her absorbing drama of Helmuth..." — Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "...a particularly gripping way to personalize the history... This is an important title for the Holocaust curriculum." — Booklist, starred review
"...tale of conscience and courage." — Kirkus Reviews