This novel is based on the true story of a Hitler Youth named Helmuth Hubener who was imprisoned and ultimately put to death at the hands of the Nazis. From his jail cell on death row in Berlin, Germany, Helmuth recounts the course of events leading up to his imprisonment. It is 1933 and Helmuth is in fifth grade when Adolf Hitler becomes the new chancellor of the Reich. Helmuth has anticipated this announcement, and is happy that Hitler promises to bring peace to Germany. He admires the Nazi soldiers in his community. But when the harassment of Jews begins and the violence of war and hatred hit closer to home, Helmuth begins to distrust the forces that he has been raised to respect. Helmuth is charged with distributing information about the war that questions Hitler, and it is all he can do to stand up for his beliefs and his loved ones, even at the risk of his life.
Recommended to young readers with an interest in history, World War II, and personal stories. Susan Campbell Bartoletti also wrote the nonfiction account Hitler Youth : Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow.
Call number: YA BARTOLETTI (Teen Room)
Reviewed by kate the librarian