At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation's leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not.Read more...
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At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation's leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys' exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phillip Hoose's inspiring story of these young war heroes.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Hoose (Moonbird) vividly recounts the true story of the courageous and brazen teens who inspired the Danish resistance movement in WWII. Angered and embarrassed by his nation’s lack of opposition to the German invasion, 15-year-old Knud Pedersen, his older brother, and a few classmates formed the secret Churchill Club (named for the British prime minister they admired). For five months in 1942, club members committed daring acts of sabotage, often from their bikes and mostly in broad daylight (“Arson became our game. We took to carrying a small quantity of petrol with us... stuffing the canister in a school bag ”). Hoose’s narrative alternates with Pedersen’s verbatim recollections (taken from a weeklong interview with him in 2012). Though readers initially may have trouble knowing when Pedersen’s quotations end and the author’s segues begin, this gripping story quickly gathers momentum, and the shifts between narrators flow smoothly. Archival photos break up the text, while an epilogue details what happened to each young resister after his imprisonment and the war’s end. A bibliography and source notes conclude this inspiring account. Ages 12–18. (May)