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

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Based on firsthand accounts and historical documents, Gaddy’s debut tells the story of the loosely affiliated nonconformist youth groups known as the Edelweiss Pirates.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fascinating story, effectively utilizing black-and-white photographs, excerpts from primary sources, and images of historical documents in chapters that are divided into short, dynamic segments that will sustain readers’ interest.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. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019


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

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. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013



A missed opportunity to offer something special.

Starting with the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009 and working back to the early 1960s, Hunter-Gault covers many of the significant moments in the civil rights movement, including her own pivotal role in desegregating the University of Georgia.

It was 1961, the year Barack Obama was born, and Hunter-Gault and Hamilton “Hamp” Holmes became the first black students to enroll in the University of Georgia, confronting the racism at the core of the oldest public university in the United Sates. Hunter-Gault places their contribution in the larger context of the civil rights movement from 1960 through 1965, but she has trouble balancing her personal narrative with the many other stories she covers. Given the number of excellent volumes on the subject, this would have been a stronger contribution if Hunter-Gault had focused on her own story; as it is, the book is something of a hodge-podge. Her premise that the civil rights movement was launched in 1960 is questionable, given the many pioneers in the decades prior. Backmatter includes an extensive timeline, articles by other writers on issues of the movement and an extensive bibliography, but there is no mention of any of the excellent works on the subject available for young readers.

A missed opportunity to offer something special. (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59643-605-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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