Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow
By Susan Campbell Bartoletti
New York Scholastic 2005 176p.
TAGS: Too Good to be True Nonfiction, Holocaust
This is the story of twelve children during the years 1926 when Hitler Youth was established until the fall of Hitler in 1945 when they became young adults. The story doesn’t end there; each person carried what they had done, with them through their entire life—that is the story that Susan Bartoletti tells in this book. This nonfiction work infuses stories, diary entries, letters and interviews of those youth who joined the Hitler Youth Organization and those youth who resisted. It gives the reader an opportunity to enter each persons mind to see and experience what life was like on both sides of this explosive time in Germany. Propaganda played a huge role in what these young youth believed and then acted upon—they were essentially brainwashed. On more than one account children in the movement turned in their own parents for anti-Nazi beliefs. Hitler Youth membership numbered 13,000 in 1929 and over 7 million in 1939, quite a force to be reckoned with. Teens will be drawn to this book not only because they can identify age wise with them but because each story is so compelling. This book weaves the stories and lives together to give you an eye-witness account of the horrors of growing up under the Hitler regime. Hitler Youth reads like a novel and concludes with an epilogue that describes what became of these tweleve individuals. Cover art is a photo of a child in full uniform which may draw students to this book. If they give the book a quick look through, they certainly will be hooked by the tons of actual photographs contained within.
Quality 5Q Popularity 5P Grades: JS Lexile: 1050
Read: The Boy Who Dared by Bartoletti—a novel based on a true story.
Awards: Newberry Honor Book and Robert F. Siebert Honor Book