I thought the book was okay. Some of the main character's diction seemed a little off- and inauthentic to me. I guess overall it didn't seem very realI thought the book was okay. Some of the main character's diction seemed a little off- and inauthentic to me. I guess overall it didn't seem very realistic to me. It also didn't drive me to read it straight through- I paused reading it for about 3 weeks for no reason really. It was a little predictable.
Eh. I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone but teenagers who might feel that they are in a similar situation to craig....more
It's important to do things that make you uncomfortable because that's part of what makes you grow. I hate reading about atrocities of hate but we canIt's important to do things that make you uncomfortable because that's part of what makes you grow. I hate reading about atrocities of hate but we can't ignore them. This book was powerful and I learned some new things. I don't remember ever learning about the euthanasia program that preceded the concentration camps. That information was particularly nauseating. For me, the most powerful chapter was the one that focused on the White Rose. I am sickened at the thought of those brave young people being beheaded. In general about the book, I thought parts of it were a little slow. This book, more than the other non fiction books in our list, came the closest to feeling like a text book. I was not a fan of the style of photograph and illustration integration- that really felt like a textbook to me. Often when I'm reading textbooks, I don't know when I'm supposed to look at the pictures. That was the case with this book. Do I look at it before I read everything on the page? But what if I'm in the middle of a sentence? Then I lose my place. The same could happen with the end. And in the middle. I just felt like it really interrupted the flow of the narrative. Of course I see the value in including the pictures- many of them were very evocative images that added to the value of the words on the page, but I just wish they weren't so disconnected from the flow of the text. I thought also that the book seemed to stray off the specific topic of hitler youth. I found that there were some sections that seemed to go on for a while without actually relating directly back to a connection with the youth. Granted, there was a lot of background information, but I guess after reading Children of the Great Depression, which really stayed on topic and covered all aspects of the kids lives, it just seemed to get a little sidetracked with the general war information. ...more
**spoiler alert** I thought this book had a lot of great components to it. I thought that the varying styles of narration/format worked seamlessly in**spoiler alert** I thought this book had a lot of great components to it. I thought that the varying styles of narration/format worked seamlessly in this novel. As I was reading I kind of imagined the whole thing as a movie. The dialogued parts were full scenes and the memos and diary entries were voice overs (in my head). I think that this book would be very conducive to "reader's theater" and dramatic readings, as well as acting out scenes in class. Students could produce their own short film versions as part of a project or extra credit.
I thought that this book addressed quite a few complicated and tough issues that would be great to be discussed in class. I realized in college that I never really evaluated any of the literary works we read in school from a feminist perspective. A few times, there are allusions to the fact that Ms. Narwin is unmarried as if that is a negative thing (page 96, 114). Now while obviously this issue is not a prominent theme, it is still a significant part of the book.
I do think that using this story in a classroom would be tricky. There are so many parallels in real life news, but I think because of the whole political-ness it would be risky to really get into the issues- at least for such an inexperienced teacher like myself. I kept wondering what parents reactions would be if I drew comparisons between the radio talk-show hosts and the likes of Glenn Beck and others like him.
I think that there are many valuable lessons to be learned from watching the progression of a small communication problem becoming the end of a career and a school-change for Philip. There are so many instances along the way where if one character had just opened their mouth and said what they were really thinking, all the problems could have been solved. I also liked the foil of Philip's father getting in trouble at work and not speaking up either. There are people making mistakes all over the place, and it's not just the kids, so I think that would be nice for kids to read about.
I also thought the ending was just perfect. I think that target age for the novel would have to be 9th or 10th grade. It says "bitch" so middle school parents might get upset, and I think any older than 9th or 10th grade might not be interested enough in it, but I could be wrong. ...more
This book was really interesting. The book is narrated by several key characters that differ depending on the chapter, though the timeline remains chrThis book was really interesting. The book is narrated by several key characters that differ depending on the chapter, though the timeline remains chronological. I thought the characters were likable and believable. I think there were a couple of gaffes when it comes to cultural references (i.e. "gameboys" have not been around for almost a decade, the nintendo DS replaced it) but overall I think it is a relevant read.
It took the typical nerd-turned-hero story in a different direction and I liked it....more