THE BOYS WHO CHALLENGED HITLER by Phillip Hoose
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THE BOYS WHO CHALLENGED HITLER

Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club
Age Range: 12 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A handful of Danish teens takes on the occupying Nazis is this inspiring true story of courageous resistance.

Unlike Norway, which was also invaded on April 9, 1940, the Danish government did little to resist German occupation. Some teenagers, like 15-year-old Knud Pedersen, were ashamed of their nation's leaders and the adult citizens who passively accepted and even collaborated with the occupiers. With his older brother and a handful of schoolmates, Knud resolved to take action. Naming themselves the Churchill Club in honor of the fiery British prime minister, the young patriots began their resistance efforts with vandalism and quickly graduated to countless acts of sabotage. Despite the lack of formal organization and planning, this small band of teenagers managed to collect an impressive cache of weapons and execute raids that would impress professionally trained commandos. The Churchill Club was eventually captured and imprisoned by the Germans, but their heroic exploits helped spark a nationwide resistance movement. As he did in Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice (2009), Hoose tells this largely unknown story with passion and clarity, providing exactly the right background information to contextualize events for readers. He makes excellent use of his extensive interviews with Pedersen, quoting him at length and expertly interweaving his words into the narrative to bring it alive.

A superbly told, remarkable true story and an excellent addition to stories of civilian resistance in World War II. (photos, bibliography, chapter notes) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 12th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-374-30022-7
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2015




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