Review Detail

Young Adult Nonfiction 1169
Do you know what you would do?
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Once Upon an Evil Time by Dieter Steiner and Diane Marcou is a memoir of another time and another place. As the title says, it was an evil time -- World War II. And this book provides an entirely different view of the war than Anne Frank's Diary or any of Elie Wiesel's works.

Dieter was a young child living in Germany when Hitler came to power and readers get a glimpse into just how a country of stalwart and upstanding citizens could get swept up into the madness of genocide. A particularly chilling moment for me is when Dieter tapes a ruler to his back so that he can stand as straight and tall as the SS troops he sees patrolling in his neighborhood. Who hasn't seen young children playing similar games?

This would be an excellent book to accompany history lessons, because it brings the history of the time to life in a way that few books accomplish. I never really understood until I read this book how people could buy into something so horrific. It's a frightening and effective story. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
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