professornana (professornana) wrote,

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daring read

I use Bartoletti's HITLER'S YOUTH as a required book in my YA literature course. Now, she has taken one of the youth from her research for that piece of nonfiction and fashioned a novel of historical fiction about his life. Helmuth is a German boy who is initially caught up in all the excitement surrounding Hitler's rise to power. He realizes before too long, however, that there is danger lurking all around him as those in power seek to take power and freedom away from others. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press vanish. Listening to radio stations other than German ones is forbidden. Helmuth sees the growing menace and does not know what to do until one night ne decides to write the truth. He fashions a pamphlet and then another and another. He places them strategically and labels them as chain letters encouraging others to pass them along. This small act of heroism cost Helmuth dearly, though.

Bartoletti has structured her story of Helmuth from interviews with his brother and with two other young boys who were arrested with Helmuth and charged with treason against the Reich. The story moves briskly, much of it told in flashback as Helmuth sits in prison awaiting his fate. Teamed with HITLER YOUTH, this will be one powerful demonstration of civics and insight into how an author can fashion two totally different stories from the same set of facts.

Hubby and I shopped at the Gourmet Gallery and plan to cook some dinner here tonight. There was a cruise ship docked downtown and throngs of passengers were raiding the shelves of the liquor store (does being on a ship lead to this action???). We bought some groceries and then headed back to the relative peace of the villas.
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