Monday, November 30, 2015

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip M. Hoose

When Germany invaded Denmark in World War II, there was no resistance or fighting from the Danes. Knud Pedersen was fourteen and disgusted that his country did nothing in wake of the takeover. He and his brother met with other boys at their school and formed a resistance unit modeled after the Norwegian resistance and British Royal Air Force (RAF). They began fighting the Germans by switching up German signs confusing arriving soldiers with misdirections. With their bikes as their weapons, they added cutting the German communication wires next and vandalizing vehicles. Police offered a reward for the capture those responsible, but Knud and his brother moved to a different city starting a new club.

This club was named, "The Churchill Club," and the brothers along with eight boys targeted homes, offices, and stores of Nazi sympathizers vandalizing them. They left a calling card in blue paint whenever they struck. The club included about ten passive members that supported them with supplies and money, but who stayed out of the action. Their actions became bolder committing arson and stealing weapons from German solders before getting caught and sent to prison.

The story reads like a narrative from Knud's point of view. Text boxes containing facts, maps, primary photos, and Knud's sketches add to the depth and richness of the story. I read this on the Kindle and I would have probably preferred the book. The separation of text features is limited in space on the Kindle as it only shows one page at a time. I got the idea and saw the separation by a bold black line but I had to enlarge the photos to see some details and the maps were unreadable unless enlarged. You might want to consider what format you want to use when reading this book. A fascinating look at children making a difference in the world.

5 Smileys

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