Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Nazi Resistance

Immersive, impactful and informative. This non-fiction account of World War 2 takes a somewhat more alternate angle than is usual—shedding light on those among the Danes, specifically, who resisted the Nazi invasion.

Filled with black and white pictures of brave rebel Danes, newspaper pages, and historic moments in progress, Hopkinson stitches together a vivid sense for the oppression and pushback in a tiny nation that regarded all of its citizens with uncommon loyalty. The stories are sobering and significant in historical value, while the language choices leave it accessible to those as young as 12.

COURAGE & DEFIANCE is broken into five parts, beginning in April of 1940 with the overnight invasion of the tiny nation of Denmark. Sedition was initially scattered, disorganized, and small scale until the Summer of 1943. As news of Allied victories spread, it brought embodiment and hope to the Danish people. They began to openly revolt, and the Germans cracked down with martial law and the total neutralizing of the Danish military. It is here, at part 2 and the book’s halfway point, that the Nazis ordered the roundup of all 7,700 Jews living in Denmark. The pacing accelerates from here on out as the Danes worked together to warn their Jewish neighbors, then evacuate as many as they could. Part 3 covers the Fall of 1943-Summer of 1944, as a number of the resistance members that readers have come to know are captured and imprisoned. Some are executed. Part 4 tells of those who survived to be deported into Germany and face the cruel and deteriorating conditions of Nazi camps—illness, starvation, and ten hour work days. Part 5 recounts Liberation in the spring of 1945—though survival was far from assured for these political prisoners, even to the final moments.

What’s most striking is how perfectly well these men and women understood the risks they were running in opposing the Nazis. There were no guarantees that Hitler could be stopped. Torture and death awaited any caught engaging in espionage or sabotage. And yet, there were many who could not just stand by and passively watch their society and principles were ravaged a piece at a time. They were willing to put their bodies and lives on the line—potentially being betrayed by their own Nazi-sympathizing countrymen—to defy submission to a genocidal war machine.

One of the most harrowing accounts would have to be that of The Flight of the Hornet, which begins on page 47. It tells of Tommy Sneum’s daring escape from Denmark to Great Britain in an outdated little plane, which he had to secretly reassemble himself in a barn. The tension throughout this incident is palpable.

On the flip side, readers may have a bit of trouble keeping track of all of the characters followed throughout. Pictures of said persons are offered, but not up front. And while the linear chronological ordering of events makes perfect historical sense, it leaves large alternating gaps between character accounts—and thus time for readers to forget who they are being told about. For this reader, it caused distancing and disconnect from their individual plights.

This book has great bottom-line potential as a tool for bringing the tensions and conflict of WW2 to life in a whole new way; suitable for students as young as lower middle-grade, or for anyone who is simply interested in expanding their understanding on the subject.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

Latest Book Listings Added

Mother Cary's Butter Knife (Shadows & Light)
The smallest of three brothers, Keenan Mowat had a priceless...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars
Did you know that the earth is covered in three...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Three Sides of A Heart: Stories About Love Triangles
You may think you know the love triangle, but...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The November Girl
I am Anda, and the lake is my mother....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Approximately Yours (North Pole, Minnesota)
Danny Garland is so out of Holly’s league. And...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Penny Lost
Penelope Grace, usually forgotten under the shadow of her...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Chasing Eveline
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel...
 
4.7
 
5.0 (2)
Good and Gone
When Lexi Green’s older brother, Charlie, starts plotting a...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Glow
When thrift-store aficionado Julie discovers a series of antique paintings...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stolen Secrets
After an abrupt move across the country to San Francisco,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Somebody's Baby
Ever since Sloan won a reality singing competition, her music...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
White Rabbit
Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving, delivers another spellbinding...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Temptation of Adam
Adam Hawthorne is fine. Yeah, his mother left, his...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Undiscovered Country
In the aftermath of her mother's death, Cat recklessly...
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
Frazzled: Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes
Things are looking up for Abbie Wu: this year...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Apex (Hunter Series #3)
Being a member of the Elite Hunter Command imperils...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Mother Cary's Butter Knife (Shadows & Light)
 
5.0
"I have never heard of this author or these books and I am so amazed that I haven’t. Not only..."
Goldeline
 
4.0
"Goldeline has found a rag tag family with Gruff and his bandits. They live in the forest and steal food..."
It's Kind of a Funny Story
 
3.5
"A mature contemporary YA, set in New York City. The story is told in first-person present-tense, exclusively from the perspective..."
Team BFF: Race to the Finish! #2 (Girls Who Code)
 
4.0
"In this second installment in the Girls Who Code series, we follow Sophia and her friends as they enter a..."
Karma Khullar's Mustache
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: Karma and the rest of the cast are flawed, well-drawn characters all too much like the soulless..."
Pumpkin Spice Secrets
 
5.0
"Although highly entertaining, Maddie's story also offers readers something important. The main character finds her voice and stands up for..."
Ride: Kit Meets Covington
 
4.0
"Kit and her father Rudy are moving from Montana to the posh Covington Academy in England where her father is..."
Max Tilt: Fire the Depths
 
4.0
"Max Tilt (short for Trujillo, as his father is Dominican. His mother is African American) is having a number of..."
Lucy & Andy Neanderthal: The Stone Cold Age (Lucy and Andy Neanderthal)
 
4.0
"Lucy and Andy struggle when they have to move in with a Neanderthal family because it is winter and they..."
Everything You Need to Know About NIGHTMARES! and How to Defeat Them: The Nightmares! Handbook
 
4.0
"In this companion to the Nightmares! trilogy, a hodgepodge of supplementary material is presented. There are pictures and descriptions of..."
Code 7: Cracking the Code for an Epic Life
 
3.5
"Flint Hill Elementary is planning a big anniversary celebration. The students decide that painting a mural is a great way..."
Confidentially Yours #6: Vanessa's Design Dilemma
 
4.0
"Katie and Vanessa are launching their KV fashion line at the school fashion show, and they are excited to find..."
Fly Guy's Big Family (Fly Guy #17)
 
5.0
"Buzz wants to play, but Fly Guy is downcast and drawing pictures of his family. Buzz decides to host a..."
Luna and the Lost Shell (Fairy Hill #2)
 
4.0
"Luna, Ruby and May are back, and this time the glow globes that are to be used to illuminate the..."
Ruby and the Magic Garden (Fairy Hill #1)
 
4.0
"Luna, Ruby and May are young fairies who live in Fairy Hill. They are learning magic and hope to get..."
Sink or Swim: A Novel of World War II
 
5.0
"When Colton's brother Danny is injured by a U Boat while out fishing in the Outer Banks, Colton decides to..."
The White Tower
 
4.0
"Livy has missed months of school because her best friend Mahalia died of leukemia. When her father is suddenly offered..."
Abby in Wonderland (Whatever After Special Edition)
 
4.0
"This had several interesting twists for this series. I did enjoy the fact that the difference between a fairy tale..."
Rapunzel, the One With all the Hair (Twice Upon a Time #1)
 
4.0
"In RAPUNZEL: THE ONE WITH ALL THE HAIR, we get the traditional story of Rapunzel with slight variations to bring..."
Dog Day Afterschool (Crimebiters #3)
 
5.0
"It's the end of the school year, and Jimmy Bishop is busy making plans for summer. He wants to volunteer..."