Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler

This is the true story of the book's subtitle, Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club.  Pedersen founded the group, consisting of himself and seven other teenage boys, to perform acts of sabotage against the Germans occupying Denmark in World War II.

The story is told primarily through Pedersen's words.  National Book Award winner Phillip Hoose worked with Pedersen in 2012 to create an English version of his story, little-known outside Denmark.  Hoose conducted 25 hours of face-to-face interviews and exchanged nearly 1,000 e-mails with Pedersen.

The narrative is exciting and should hold the interest of the target teen audience, especially boys.  The book can definitely be used in history classes on World War II (there's a teacher's guide from the publisher on the author's web site), and could also spark some interesting discussions on courage, on the morality of sabotage in wartime, and on taking risks and keeping secrets.

The book includes photographs, maps, and other illustrations, as well as a bibliography, end notes, and index (useless in the e-book as there are no page numbers or links).  An audio version (narrated by the author as well as actor and voice artist Michael Braun) is also available, and  would enhance understanding for any struggling readers in the targeted high school age group.

© Amanda Pape - 2015

[The Boys Who Challenged Hitler is available on the lower level of the Dick Smith Library in the Curriculum Collection, call number EDUC D802 .D4 H645 2015.]

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