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.