An eye-opening account of tenacity that brings the efforts of young anti-Nazi activists vividly to life.

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FLOWERS IN THE GUTTER

Gertrud, Fritz, and Jean were among many young people who confronted fascism in this little-known true story of teenage resistance in Nazi Germany.

Based on firsthand accounts and historical documents, Gaddy’s debut tells the story of the loosely affiliated nonconformist youth groups known as the Edelweiss Pirates. Meeting in secret, camping in the woods, and attempting to avoid mandatory recruitment into Hitler youth organizations, their resistance activities ranged from scatological pranks and vandalism to flyering and sabotage to simply playing guitar and wearing their hair long. Though largely composed of straight Christians, many from socialist and communist families, the groups welcomed gay and Jewish youth. This matter-of-fact narrative shows how youth can stand against an overwhelming tide of fascism. It implicatively asks readers, “what would you do?” while highlighting the actions of young people who refused to be complacent—and the consequences they suffered for it. It challenges common narratives that reserve praise for resistance for the politically centrist middle and upper classes. The author weaves a lesson in historiography into an already fascinating story, effectively utilizing black-and-white photographs, excerpts from primary sources, and images of historical documents in chapters that are divided into short, dynamic segments that will sustain readers’ interest.

An eye-opening account of tenacity that brings the efforts of young anti-Nazi activists vividly to life. (historical note, source notes, bibliography, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-5255-5541-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Ephemeral—unlike the art here (some of it, at least) and those fondly remembered little books.

EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM A LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK

Chicken soup for fans of Golden Books, from the line’s editorial director.

Reasoning that hard times have come to America (“The chickens have come home to roost, and their names are Debt, Depression, and Diabetes”), Muldrow offers this book as palliative. She gathers single illustrations from 61 Little Golden Books and adds pithy captions as anodynes, such as “Don’t panic…” (beneath Tibor Gergely’s 1948 image of a dismayed child holding detached braids) or “Have some pancakes” (Richard Scarry, 1949). Though some of her advice has a modern inflection (“Don’t forget your antioxidants!”), the pictures all come from titles published between 1942 and 1964 and so, despite the great diversity of artistic styles, have a quaint period look. Not to mention quaint period values, from views of apron-wearing housewives and pipe-smoking men (or bears) to, with but two exceptions, an all-white cast of humans. Furthermore, despite the title’s implication, the exhortations don’t always reflect the original story’s lesson or theme; rather than “Make a budget—and stick to it!” the lad in Miriam Young’s 5 Pennies To Spend (illustrated by Corinne Malvern, 1955) actually used his hoard to help others in need.

Ephemeral—unlike the art here (some of it, at least) and those fondly remembered little books. (Picture book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-97761-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Golden Books/Random

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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SMILE FOR THE CAMERA

This completely absorbing memoir follows the author from age 16, when she escaped from an abusive home in the late 1970s to become a model in New York City. Although Kelle ultimately succeeds, her path from squalor to security takes her through more abusive relationships, homelessness and a sensational murder trial. Kelle is one scrappy girl, though. With a few good friends and the timely kindness of strangers, she survives. This is a cautionary story to those who dream of similar runs to fame. James pulls no punches in her descriptions of the sexual and physical abuse she suffered at the hands of predatory men in the city and in flashback memories of her violent father. She describes a sexual attack and doesn’t shy away from innuendo in her characters’ dialogue. Stark in its honesty, the book propels readers forward with a sense of suspense worthy of a thriller. James bares her former adolescent soul and proudly celebrates her toughness, while owning up to her mistakes as well. Compelling and fascinating—a striking debut. (Memoir. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0623-0

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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