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Hitler's Canary

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,006 Ratings  ·  188 Reviews
"My brother stood up so quickly he almost knocked Mama over. 'Why aren't you doing something? Do you know what the British are calling us? Hitler's canary! I've heard it on the radio, on the BBC. They say he has us in a cage and we just sit and sing any tune he wants.'"

Bamse's family are theater people. They don't get involved in politics. "it had nothing to do with us," B
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ebook, 192 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Roaring Brook Press (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Daavid
May 27, 2017 Daavid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
3.5 stars; higher for children as readers.
The one condition necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
- Edmund Burke
That's the quote with which the book begins. Very well-written, about the Danish resistance to the German occupation (1940-1945), the book is almost completely based upon facts from memories of the author's father, about all the ways in which his family (along with others in Denmark) did to save the lives of several Jews in their country in late 1943.

Simple writ
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Eugenia Tong
Sep 13, 2015 Eugenia Tong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was pretty good, how it was like an act at the start I loved. I feel remorse that Thomas had to die, out of 8000 danish jews who made it to safety. Only a couple hundred danish jews died in the camps.
Stephanie Wood
Feb 27, 2016 Stephanie Wood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Sandi's writing style and she has opened my eyes to an unknown side of a very well-known historical period.
Kats
Strangely, I had never heard of this book until a member of our book club suggested to read it for this month's meeting. It's strange because I am a huge fan of Sandi Toksvig and religiously listen to her weekly "News Quiz" on BBC radio as well as watch her on TV for numberous news and stand-up comedy shows. I should know that she is written not that this one but other books, too. She is brilliant, smart, witty and....

(half) Danish.

Which is the other reason why it's strange that I'd never hear
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Brittany Z
Feb 21, 2016 Brittany Z rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was killing time at the library supervising a kid when this young adult book caught my eye. This book has a similar theme to Lois Lowry's teen book, Number the Stars, about the Nazi occupation in Denmark. This book is a bit different in that it is able to be slightly comical yet get across important messages about the Holocaust, which isn't an easy feat. It focuses on 2 young male friends, one of which is Jewish. The main boy's family helps with the Danish resistance--they ultimately hide and ...more
Ayala Levinger
I read this book with my 10 years old child. There is not so much known and told about the danish resistance and their actions to save the jews (there weren't many jews in Denemark but even so less that 2% were killed, to compare to 75% of the dutch jews...) and with this book I myself came to learn some things.
It is a nice book for 10-12 years old. even very funny sometimes and not too horrible (because war is).
one thing bothers me though, it was clear the writer aimed that we conclude that T
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Bettie☯
Apr 23, 2015 Bettie☯ marked it as maybe  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Anna Kļaviņa

Bamse Swedish style!

Description: "My brother stood up so quickly he almost knocked Mama over. 'Why aren't you doing something? Do you know what the British are calling us? Hitler's canary! I've heard it on the radio, on the BBC. They say he has us in a cage and we just sit and sing any tune he wants.'"

Bamse's family are theater people. They don't get involved in politics. "it had nothing to do with us," Bamse tells us. Yet now he must decide: should he take his father's advice and not stir up t
...more
Megan
Apr 16, 2011 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am in love with Denmark right now. In love. And proud to be Danish. This book was a pleasure to read. It was about WWII which I have a thing for reading about, but it was different than any other Nazi book I've read because this was about the Danish resistance. Absolutely amazing stuff. The little boy Bamse, the main character, was so loveable and believable and wonderful and his family was quirky and weird and loveable, too. His mom was an incredibly dramatic actress who lived her entire life ...more
Alex Baugh
It's April 1940 and suddenly the sunny blue sky over Copenhagen, Denmark is dark with airplanes. The German Luftwaffe is dropping leaflets telling the Danes that the Germans have come to protect them from the evil British and French.

At first, life doesn't change much for Bamse, the 10 year old son of a famous stage actress and a set designer/painter father, or for his best friend Anton, also 10 and Jewish. They keep their heads down and try to stay out of trouble.

But Bamse begins to notice his
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Cat {Wild Night In}
Not going to lie, I have a soft spot for all things Danish after having had the good fortune to meet some really kind, fun and interesting Danish people over the years. As such, I may have a slight bias towards all things groovy and Danish (or half Danish in Sandi Toksvig's case).

This story's written for children but had a warmth and optimism (and even humour at times) mixed in with the sadness that made it a good read for an adult who's read a fair chunk of the darker WWII-related lit. over the
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Robin
Dec 04, 2011 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is really a children's story. However, like many children's books it has a much deeper story than many adult books. The simple way it is written through the eyes of a boy still in short trousers about a serious issue [how the Danes reacted to Nazi treatment of the Jews] was in my view a minor classic.

I thoroughly enjoyed it to the point of constantly picking it up until I had too soon, finished it. It is funny, dark, illuminating of human nature and true to life in the way people constantly
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Michele
Apr 29, 2011 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2011
Excellent in every way. Loved it and think you should read it. I learned a lot about the Danish resistance. It is a very quick read.

165: You must stand up for everyone's right to be be who they are- otherwise you may find one day that it is you who is singled out, who is seen as different, and then there will be no one to defend you.

27:Do whatever you do well. You never know- it might just save your life.

14 Learned a new word,"livskunt" the art of living.

8 Remembering to laugh when things were b
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Solenne
Hitlers Canary is a very interesting book, it is about a boy called Bamse from a danish family that is going through the world war 2. Bamse, Orlando, and Anton join a team against the Nazi's and try to give revenge. I think what makes the story more interesting is how Bamse has a sister who is in a relationship with a Nazi soldier, and the book is also based on a true story of the authors fathers experiences in the world war.
Caitlyn Van
Oct 27, 2014 Caitlyn Van rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Het was een goed boek over de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Ik vind dat Sandi Toksvig wat er met de joden is gebeurt en het verzet heel goed beschrijft. Ik raad het zeker aan als je meer wilt weten over de Tweede Wereldoorlog en gewoon als een goed en spannend boek. Ik las het namelijk in de pauzes op school en ik had hem bijna uit en toen ging de bel. Dat vond ik echt heel irritant. In dit verhaal kan je dan ook helemaal verdwijnen.
Ryan Tse
Sep 13, 2015 Ryan Tse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story about Bamse, his brother Orlando and his jewish friend Anton playing pranks on German Soldiers which claimed Denmark, where they were living. Bamse and his family was also trying to get their fellow jews escape to Sweden for freedom.

The beginning of this story it was a bit boring, but till the end it was very enjoyable and interesting.
Valerie
Nov 22, 2008 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story about the German occupation of Denmark and the Danish resistance told from an eleven year old boys point of view.
Jeremy
Sep 13, 2015 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story was a bit boring for me, it progressed really slowly and was a bit boring. Was good though.
Katie
Sep 04, 2015 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some parts of the book were really interesting and mysterious but some parts I didn't understand at all! But I think that some parts were very touching!
Aidan Zayas
Jan 28, 2017 Aidan Zayas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book gave me a little life on Hitler and Germans and Theater people.
The theater people would play and drink and act but sometimes it wasn't always like that. Germans would be on side walks restaurants and think that they could do what they can. Hitler would make gas chambers for the Jews. Soldiers would honor Hitler. The kids were growing up faster. The theater people would always see Air forces and the Germans land.

Theater people would sometimes put on a performance. Germans would
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Naomi
Dec 01, 2016 Naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many good books out there... About the Holocaust and how different people in different situations act.
Megan
Jan 15, 2017 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cried
WillDaemonJace
Mar 18, 2017 WillDaemonJace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5
Miss Suffield
Jan 14, 2017 Miss Suffield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant insight into Danish Jews during the Second World War and how they dealt with life during this difficult time. A fictional story based on true experiences.
Tami
Hitler’s Canary is the extraordinary story of Bamse Skovlund and his youth in Denmark during the Nazi occupation of World War II. Although not written in diary form, Bamse narrates his own story as a memory.

Bamse has grown up in the theater, as his mother is an actress on the stage. His father is an artist, often building sets and drawing political cartoons for a Danish newspaper. He has an older brother and sister and his best friend, Anton, lives in the apartment upstairs. Bamse loves watching
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Hannah
This is another WWII era novel (are you noticing a theme of late? I'm prepping a Holocaust unit) that's notable for its plot and content rather than for the writing. Toksvig writes very plainly for my taste; maybe it's so her younger audience can keep up with what's going on, or maybe that's her style, but I felt like there was a lack of detail and development in some parts. There is also no subtlety here: be prepared to be bashed over the head with the themes of the book. What the book lacked i ...more
Madison
Hitler’s Canary takes place in Denmark during World War II. This chapter book follows Bamse’s family as they struggle with the Nazi occupation in their country. Despite the historical context in which Hitler’s Canary occurs, this book is surprisingly light-hearted. Bamse’s family works in the theater. His mother is an overdramatic actress who prefers quoting great plays rather than speaking in laymen’s terms, and his father is an even-tempered set designer who occasionally draws political cartoo ...more
Amy
Mar 22, 2013 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot put into words how much I loved this book! (But I will try!)
I really enjoyed this book mainly because it was inspirational, capturing and unforgettable, really!

PROS:
~It opened my eyes to the Second World War - Everyone thinks World War 2 was just an event in the past, Jews died, it doesn't happen anymore. Well... Yes, that is true, but WW2 is so much more than that! It caused the whole of the world to panic, turn against one another, and make us trust no one. It was a whole war, caused
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Abel
***Spoiler Alert***
Enough is enough and its time for a change! That's what Bamse and his brother Orlando think when the Nazis appear in Denmark. The start of World War Two is coming and only Bamse and Orlando think the Nazis are a threat to Denmark.
This book is a historical fiction book. It takes place during World War Two in Denmark. This book in my opinion is really good and it has some dramatical parts that make it exciting.
Bamse a twelve year old kid who is loving his life helping his mom i
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Rosalind
Mar 13, 2012 Rosalind rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a children's book but like all the best children's books, a great read for adults too. It is set during the Nazi occupation of Denmark, seen through the eyes of a child, Bamse, whose family is caught up in the Resistance movement. His mother is an actress and his father a painter in the theatre; when his older brother joins the resistance, Bamse and his best friend Anton are faced with increasingly difficult choices, as Anton turns out to be Jewish - or rather, the fact that Anton is Jew ...more
Beth Dean
I had no idea that Denmark was called Hitler's canary, I didn't even realise how the Nazi's treated Danish people until this book. I, of course, knew about the Holocaust and the monstrous things that happened during that time but I had no idea that for such a small and normally peaceful country, they put up such a big resistance and evacuated THAT many jews.




This book was aimed at children as an adventure story but I beleive that unless you know and understand the context of this book you won't b
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Idea's 1 17 Oct 28, 2009 03:50PM  
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337554
Danish/British writer, presenter, comedian, actress and producer on British radio and television. She currently presents The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4 and 1001 Things You Should Know on Channel 4. In October 2012 she succeeded Sheila Hancock as Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth.
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“You must stand up for everyone’s right to be who they are— otherwise you may find one day that it is you who is singled out, who is seen as different, and then there will be no one to defend you.” After” 0 likes
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