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Review of We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler

freedman_we will not be silentWe Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
by Russell Freedman
Intermediate, Middle School    Clarion    104 pp.
5/16    978-0-544-22379-0    $17.99

Freedman’s latest photohistory is an excellent overview of the White Rose resistance movement, a group of university students who, beginning in June 1942 in Munich, Germany, risked their lives to write and distribute leaflets denouncing the Nazi regime. Focusing mainly on siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, Freedman cogently describes Hitler’s increasing repressiveness; the Scholl family’s growing alienation from Nazism; the forming of the White Rose resistance movement, consisting of the Scholl siblings and their circle of friends at Munich University; the distribution and impact of the leaflets; and Hans’s and Sophie’s ultimate capture and execution by guillotine. (Hans was twenty-four; Sophie, twenty-one.) 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. The book’s large square trim size allows for spacious page design and copious photos. Pair with Hermann Vinke’s The Short Life of Sophie Scholl (rev. 8/84; now sadly out of print) for a fuller portrait of Sophie and the White Rose, or Phillip Hoose’s The Boys Who Challenged Hitler (rev. 7/15) for a look at another remarkable group of young people who worked to sabotage the Nazi regime. Appended with source notes, a selected bibliography, and an index (but no timeline).

From the May/June 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Martha V. Parravano About Martha V. Parravano

Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

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