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Flowers in the Gutter

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Photo-illustrated nonfiction, the story of the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of working-class teens who not only survived but resisted the Nazis by whatever means they could, even when they knew it could cost them their lives.

Flowers in the Gutter is told from the points of view Gertrude, Fritz, and Jean, three young people from working-class neighborhoods in Cologne, beginning with their pre-school years at the dawn of the Third Reich in the 1930s. Gaddy shows how political activism was always a part of their lives and how they witnessed first-hand the toll it took on their parents--and how they still carried the torch for justice when it was their turn.
Once the war began, Gertrude, Fritz, and Jean and their friends survived and even resisted in one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany. Gaddy includes tense accounts of fights with Hitler Youth and the Gestapo, of disseminating anti-Nazi pamphlets, of helping POWs and forced laborers, and even of sabotaging Nazi factories.
Ultimately, the war ended tragically for several young pirates, and Gaddy shows how post-war politics and prejudices led to these young men and women being branded criminals for decades after the war.

320 pages, Hardcover

Published January 7, 2020

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K.R. Gaddy

2 books15 followers

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5 stars
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204 (41%)
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130 (26%)
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29 (5%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 104 reviews
Profile Image for Leslie Bryant.
1 review26 followers
August 8, 2021
K.R. Gaddy’s “Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers who Resisted the Nazis,” This is a fascinating, excellently told history that deserves a wide audience.

The Edelweiss Pirates and The White Rose are not known by many both this book and the Original Edelweiss Pirates Series Operation Einstein (Edelweiss Pirates #1) by Mark A. Cooper The Edelweiss Express (Edelweiss Pirates #2) by Mark A. Cooper bring the facts to life.

If I had not read the original two books first I would have given this 5 stars but Gaddy's version of events does not come to life, it is characterless. Still worth a read and worthy of 3-4 stars.
Profile Image for Samantha.
1,589 reviews71 followers
February 22, 2020
Remember like 15 years ago when everyone just agreed nazis were terrible? Man, those were the days.

With the frightening shift in American politics that is currently occurring, rife with all sorts of bigotry and prejudice (including—as is directly relevant here—antisemitism and white supremacy) it becomes all the more important to not only remember and recognize the mistakes made in past atrocities, but also to celebrate those who fought back against their oppressors.

Flowers in the Gutter is the true story of the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of young people based largely in the Cologne area who were determined to fight back against the nazis who stole their freedom, despite their own young ages and inexperience.

The book reads beautifully as narrative nonfiction, perfect for those who find dry historical tomes difficult to get through but who still want the type of information contained in them. Gaddy has done a masterful job of packing a lot into a nonfiction book that in some ways reads like a novel.

The persons chronicled in the book are less familiar to us than many well-known heroes of WWII, but their work and their efforts are meaningful and impactful.

Of particular importance is the fact that this book is geared toward young readers. I don’t think we see enough nonfiction written for the under 18 crowd, particularly that which imparts this level of sophistication and nuance. Kudos to Gaddy for recognizing that kids are often capable of far more and are far hungrier for knowledge than many adult writers give them credit for.

One note on the above: While I think most young readers are perfectly capable of digesting the information included here and I feel strongly that it’s important to educate children on the realities of WWII and the Holocaust, I feel compelled to mention that there are many very graphic descriptions of violence in the book, as well as descriptions and photos of the execution of named persons whom we have gotten to know throughout the narrative. I think Gaddy was absolutely correct to include these things in the book, but would caution that it may be difficult material for younger and/or more sensitive readers.

Profile Image for The Nerd Daily.
720 reviews341 followers
January 6, 2020
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Seven Jane

Written with the young reader in mind, meticulously researched, and brilliantly crafted is K.R. Gaddy’s Flowers in the Gutter. It is a story of heroism and resistance that will inspire readers to stand up and fight for what’s right.

Flowers in the Gutter tells the real-life story of Gertrude, Fritz, and Jean, three young people involved in a youth resistance group known as the Edelweiss Pirates, young people who not only resisted, but fought passionately against nationalism and prejudices in time of fascist violence in Nazi Germany. Told from alternating viewpoints, Gaddy takes us from the pre-school years through the war of each of the three persons named, illustrating both in words and in meaningfully curated historical photographs the tense and often horrific accounts of each of the pirates. (Tip: read the footnotes.)

For such heavy subject matter, Flowers in the Gutter (a title which pays homage to the edelweiss flower itself—the namesake of the pirates and a symbol of deep love and devotion due to the flower’s mountaintop location which required daring and potentially fatal climbs to attain, thus a fitting moniker for the young resisters) is a remarkably light read, engaging and eloquently penned. Gaddy displays an adept knowledge of German-language primary sources, including memoirs of the three main characters, as well as an inexpressibly vivid tongue for bringing the included photographs and other historical materials to life.

There is, likewise, an artfully crafted balance to this book; Gaddy deftly juxtaposes accounts of fights with the Hitler Youth, beatings at the hands of the Gestapo, and the horrors of bombed-out Cologne with mountainside merry-making, passion and loyalty, and the steadfast determination of the pirates to carry the torch for justice. Such excellent storytelling elevates Flowers in the Gutter from a narrative recount of the pirates’ history to a tale of their redemption—these young people remained branded as criminals decades after the war redemption—and a beacon of inspiration to today’s youth. Flowers in the Gutter is not just a history lesson, but perhaps more aptly it is a mirror collapsed into paper—a powerful tool through which we see once again the import of resisting oppression, of holding tightly to our ideals, and of always, always, fighting for what is right.
Profile Image for Audrey West.
7 reviews34 followers
September 23, 2021
Hmm. What do you say about a book like this!

It has the idea taken from the Edelweiss Pirates Series, Operation Einstein and its promising but it fails to deliver. This would be almost impossible to hold teens interest, its dull. It jumps about and I have to ask who's POV is this now?

The characters were forgotten, I think we have been spoilt by the great Story telling and emotions brought in the Edelweiss Pirates series, by Mark A. Cooper. Flowers in the gutter is a good try but fails flat. because the author tried, I gave it 2 stars rather than 1
Profile Image for Melanie Dulaney.
1,295 reviews57 followers
October 25, 2019
I did not finish this book as it is too advanced for my library patrons and was not enough of the narrative non-fiction that I enjoy. As a lesser known group who did all they could to resist Hitler, many will be drawn to this book on the Edelweiss Pirates. I was not impressed with the writing of K. R. Gaddy, but I am a bit particular. Thanks for the dARC, Edelweiss.
Profile Image for Aliena.
264 reviews10 followers
November 1, 2021
DNF at page 220.

This book looked and sounded so interesting! Somehow, I was bored throughout the entire thing. At the end of the day, why should I make myself struggle through something that makes me unhappy, just to say that I’ve finished it. I’ll definitely be researching the Edelweiss Pirates on my own though!
Profile Image for Sakina (aforestofbooks).
371 reviews120 followers
January 19, 2020
This book was surprising, eye-opening, and painful to read. Thank you so much to PenguinTeen Canada for sending me an arc and to the author, K. R. Gaddy, for doing the research necessary to write this incredible story.

I didn't realize this was non-fiction until I actually received the arc and opened to the first page. And then I checked the back and saw a bunch of sources that the author used/referred to while writing this book. I haven't read non-fiction in a while, but this made me really excited. I prefer non-fiction books that are written in a narrative format because not only is it a lot easier to get into, but it tricks my mind into thinking I'm reading fiction. This book did that really well, and because of that I think it would appeal not only to younger readers, but also to older ones. I'd love to see this book as part of the curriculum in university history courses especially.

I had never heard of the Edelweiss Pirates before this book. I had heard of German resistance, but the only other book I read that had mentioned it was The Women in the Castle. I definitely think this is something that should be taught in history classes because it's incredible how young these kids were and what they did to resist Nazi rule. It's inspiring and heartbreaking seeing what these kids went through, the risk they took, the torture and abuse they underwent, all in order to stick to their ideals, whether they were politically or morally inclined.

I liked following all three character perspectives. Gertrude's was probably my favourite because it was interesting to see how many girls were actually involved in the resistance. In The Women in the Castle, it was mostly the husbands of all these women who were part of the assassination attempt on Hitler's life, so I always wondered how many women were involved or wanted to be involved.

I did find Jean and Fitz's povs a little confusing. Sometimes I would forget what happened to which of the two boys because a lot of what they went through was kind of similar, and in some parts their stories overlapped a bit, even though neither of the characters actually met during the war.

There is quite a huge cast of characters and a lot of them go by code names too, so it was a little difficult to keep track. But I don't think it totally detracted from the story itself.

What I really liked about this book was the inclusion of letters and reports and news articles. We saw reports from the Gestapo, the SS, and the Hitler Youth, as well as confession papers and execution notices. There were also lots of pictures of the actual main characters with other members of the Edelweiss pirates and similar groups. I really enjoyed the snapshots we got of their lives before the war really got worse. Seeing them hiking and camping, playing the guitar, singing songs, and just having fun, makes you realize how young these kids were and how they just wanted to enjoy life. But as the story progresses, the pictures got darker and more disturbing and hard to look at. The story itself too became a lot darker. There were arrests and interrogations in the beginning of this book, but in most cases, the main characters were released quite soon after. But by the end, they're being interrogated and beaten and starved for days at a time, and it's a never-ending cycle. It was quite difficult to read and some of the pictures were a little disturbing. This is just a trigger warning for anyone who picks this up later.

Overall, a really great book. Highly recommend for anyone interested in learning more about an aspect of WWII history that was probably not covered in school.
Profile Image for Liv Morris.
50 reviews18 followers
January 4, 2020
What a nice thing to see in the year of our lord 2020: a Nazi getting punched in the nose on the cover of a young adult book.

If Nazis getting their asses handed to them appeals to you (it should), rest assured that this book delivers. Gaddy clearly admires the young people she writes about; she goes to bat for them again and again. They caused trouble, they broke the law – so what? The law was unjust, so trouble was necessary. As she notes, these teens were too young and too scattered to have developed a single coherent political ideology, but they maintained a sense of empathy and humanity that was political in itself. History has ignored and even maligned them because they were largely leftist – many of them were socialists, communists, or had family members jailed or killed for being socialists or communists – but Gaddy reveals them for what they are: kids who should not have had to be heroes but who stepped up anyway, because it was the right thing to do.

Does this review come off as more about the pirates than about the book itself? I can’t help it. Gaddy has me convinced. She’s clearly done a tremendous amount of research; this is both an in-depth look at the motivations and actions of a collection of young individuals and an attempt to place those actions within a broader context: not just World War II but the study of history as a whole, the way dominant society chooses who’s a hero and who’s a villain or a nobody. And even as she argues that the Edelweiss pirates were the former, she refuses to flatten them into two-dimensional demigods. A whole section of the back matter is about the teens’ cultural blindspots, particularly when it came to perpetuating stereotypes of Native people (one of the pirate groups was called the Navajos). Gaddy notes that those blindspots still exist today, and that they’re worth acknowledging even and especially in the people and media we admire.

I’m really, really glad this book exists. I’m glad people will get to read it. I’m glad there will always be people who punch Nazis, because punching Nazis is the right thing to do.
365 reviews
May 11, 2021
Great topic and fills a hole but it loses some readability in the listing of names and dates. The book does not have a strong narrative to the title. It jumps between a lot of people and times and instances which at times can be difficult to follow..
Profile Image for Melissa.
656 reviews9 followers
June 30, 2020
Great YA non-fiction. Thank you K.R. Gaddy for bringing these stories to us. I hope that young people who read will be inspired to make their voices heard.
Profile Image for Chris Horsefield.
108 reviews120 followers
November 3, 2021
Disappointing. Such a great opportunity to write about the Edelweiss Pirates missed by poor research, gaps in the story.. Not really as good as any of the other novels I have read on the subject.

Profile Image for Susan.
924 reviews27 followers
September 5, 2020
I don’t remember ever learning about the Edelweiss Pirates, but I do remember learning about Sophie Scholl. I find it fascinating (and not surprising), that Scholl’s message and actions have been the story of the youth in Germany who opposed the Nazis, while the kids in Cologne, and other towns are mostly forgotten. Because they were kids, some not even teenagers, who were part of bündische groups that risked their lives resisting Hitler and his reign of terror. The bravery and tenacity of these kids should be known by all.

I’m giving this only 3 stars though because I found the writing to be rough at times. I’m not sure if the edition I have is a poorly edited copy or not, but throughout reading this books I would have to go back and reread sentences a couple of times because they didn’t make sense due to missing words/bad grammar (not lines from historical texts). It was a bit of a slog to get through and as a YA non-fiction I can imagine this would be hard pressed to hold teens interest. Which is a shame because it really is an important story to be told and I think with a slightly different approach, it would have been a very captivating book.
Profile Image for Ruth Woodman York.
453 reviews5 followers
February 7, 2021
I listened to the audiobook version (which for some reason, Goodreads doesn't have?) from my library. I liked it. But I do think that this would have been better to read the physical book. There were what sounded like transcripts of forms from the Gestapo, that if I had seen them in the book, might have made better sense. Also, keeping track of the various main and auxiliary people might have been easier with a physical book. If it had, I might have given this as 4. I did like that the narrator did so well pronouncing the German names of people and places so well. While I don't speak German, I do appreciate listening to the correct pronunciations. As to the book itself, it is obvious the author did a lot of research into this book. And it was good to learn a bit of history that I wasn't aware of. Overall, it was good, but I think I'd have preferred the physical book, which judging by other's reviews and shelves, it is a graphic novel. So I might have to find it and read again.
Profile Image for Amy.
209 reviews2 followers
June 17, 2020
I've read a lot about WWII, but I had no previous knowledge of this teen resistance group. Enlightening and interesting.
Profile Image for Lisa.
328 reviews4 followers
January 20, 2021
This gave me a completely different perspective on WWII than anything else I've read. I appreciated that sections started with some big picture notes on what was happening historically in Cologne before going back to our three main characters. This was a really well sourced book, and I think it's a worthy addition to anyone's non-fiction shelves.
Profile Image for Liz.
1,406 reviews9 followers
September 5, 2021
I was interested to learn about youth resistance during Nazi Germany, but it wasn't told in a compelling way. Each section begins with 2nd person POV and then alternates among 3 different teens who don't interact. It was very dry for me, and I am generally interested in history/WWII.
Profile Image for Deb Cohen.
7 reviews
August 22, 2021
Not quite as good as the Other Edelweiss stories I have read, no real characters and wasn't really written for Young Adults. Yes its was about teens but it was written by an educated person who probably reads adult novels and can't relate to teens.
Just because a book is about children or teenagers doesn't make it YA genre.
Overall a good story and if you have never come across the Edelweiss Pirates it should be added to your reading list, but there are better one out there.
August 6, 2022
Found this gem in the YA section at my local bookstore. What a find!!! I’m thankful I live in a state that would never ban or cease offering such a treasure! Not to be missed and great way to dive into WWII history with all its atrocities. The Edelweiss Pirates give a unique perspective as youths against Hitler’s regime. They fought to hold onto their individuality, freedoms, and survival at all costs! Truly a remarkable reminder of bravery and perseverance.
Profile Image for Mrs. Reno.
132 reviews
February 1, 2020
This book provides a fascinating look at a facet of the anti-Nazi resistance in Germany that isn't in the mainstream consciousness. I wish the author's note about how resistance movements have traditionally been defined came at the beginning, as that was the real hook for me. I will say I found it hard to keep track of the profiles and wished for a more narrative feel - especially for my students. I am planning on pairing this with Maureen Johnson's How I Resist as a book duo for interested students, as I think it provides a great framework for conversation and deeper discussion.
Profile Image for Lindy Ryan.
Author 20 books115 followers
January 3, 2020
Written with the young reader in mind, meticulously researched and brilliantly crafted is Flowers in the Gutter, upcoming from K. R. Gaddy (Dutton Books for Young Readers, Penguin Random House), a story of heroism and resistance that will inspire readers to stand up and fight for what’s right.

Flowers in the Gutter tells the real-life story of Gertrude, Fritz, and Jean, three young people involved in a youth resistance group known as the Edelweiss Pirates, young people who not only resisted, but fought passionately against nationalism and prejudices in time of fascist violence in Nazi Germany. Told from alternating viewpoints, Gaddy takes us from the pre-school years through the war of each of the three persons named, illustrating both in words and in meaningfully curated historical photographs the tense and often horrific accounts of each of the pirates. (Tip: read the footnotes.)

For such heavy subject matter, Flowers in the Gutter (a title which pays homage to the edelweiss flower itself—the namesake of the pirates and a symbol of deep love and devotion due to the flower’s mountaintop location which required daring and potentially fatal climbs to attain, thus a fitting moniker for the young resisters) is a remarkably light read, engaging and eloquently penned. Gaddy displays an adept knowledge of German-language primary sources, including memoirs of the three main characters, as well as an inexpressibly vivid tongue for bringing the included photographs and other historical materials to life.

There is, likewise, an artfully crafted balance to this book; Gaddy deftly juxtaposes accounts of fights with the Hitler Youth, beatings at the hands of the Gestapo, and the horrors of bombed-out Cologne with mountainside merry-making, passion and loyalty, and the steadfast determination of the pirates to carry the torch for justice. Such excellent storytelling elevates Flowers in the Gutter from a narrative recount of the pirates’ history to a tale of their redemption—these young people remained branded as criminals decades after the war redemption—and a beacon of inspiration to today’s youth. Flowers in the Gutter is not just a history lesson, but perhaps more aptly it is a mirror collapsed into paper—a powerful tool through which we see once again the import of resisting oppression, of holding tightly to our ideals, and of always, always, fighting for what is right.
Profile Image for Celeste.
2,033 reviews
October 6, 2020
The author does a meticulous job with the facts which I liked-if there is ever a discrepancy in the facts she notes it. The beginning was slow but then I got into because I cared what happened to the people. I wished there had been more about what happened to them after the war.
Profile Image for Pam Kelley.
Author 1 book13 followers
March 31, 2020
I'm long past my young-adult years, but I highly recommend this book. Meticulous research and strong writing make for a riveting story about young Nazi activists known as the Edelweiss Pirates.
Profile Image for Marisa Costa.
375 reviews22 followers
February 22, 2021
3,5 🌟

K. R. Gaddy reconstruye en un ensayo novelado la historia de Los Piratas de Edelweiss, un grupo alemán compuesto por jóvenes que durante los años de entreguerras y la Segunda Guerra Mundial se sublevaron, de un modo reivindicativo y pacífico, al régimen nazi.

Con una narración pulcra, fluida, accesible y directa, la autora pone de manifiesto su amplio proceso de investigación para ofrecer al lector desde el enfoque de tres miembros de los piratas, una visión más global y completa de uno de los acontecimientos que, si bien no tienen gran reconocimiento, ayudaron a terminar con la supremacía aria durante una de las contiendas más impactantes de la historia.

Los detallados diálogos, las escasas descripciones y los acontecimientos que se relatan en la narración han sido extraídos de las memorias escritas, archivos de la Gestapo y entrevistas personales realizadas a partir de los años 70, y así se refleja en la edición a través de documentos reales y fotografías de textos originales, de los protagonistas, escenarios, localizaciones y escenas de hechos históricos. Todo este material no solo facilita al lector la tarea de visualizar la narración, sino que aporta seguridad y credibilidad al texto.

El libro mantiene en todo momento un formato documental dividiéndose en dos partes diferenciadas. Por un lado, se realiza, a inicio de cada parte, una exposición histórica del contexto y de la situación político-social de los años que van a transcurrir en el capítulo para, a continuación, dar paso a los relatos personales e individuales de cada personaje descritos en tercera persona.

Fritz, Gertrud y Jean son los tres protagonistas indiscutibles de la obra. Si bien es cierto que es a través de sus ojos mediante los cuales llegamos a contemplar de forma global el planteamiento de las agrupaciones denominadas Piratas de Edelweiss, en cada una de estas historias descubrimos un ejemplo de superación y un modelo de vida que consiguiera resistir y luchar con mayor o menor resultado a la invasión de un régimen que atentaba contra la ciudadanía.

El tiempo histórico navega entre los años 1942 y 1945 en Colonia, trasladándonos a una localización altamente influenciada por el nazismo y, especialmente, a este grupo juvenil e inconformista que quedó olvidado y relegado en la historia hasta el 2005 debido a su falta de organización, estructura y pertenencia a una resistencia conformada.

Cabe destacar que no es una lectura sencilla, más que por la narración, la cual a pesar de estar enfocada como ensayo la autora logra crear una simbiosis maravillosa que no decae en la monotonía, por los temas a tratar que se desarrollan entre sus páginas. Las injusticias, el sufrimiento, la ausencia o la pérdida son algunos de los puntos más destacables que en ningún momento se sobreponen a aspectos positivos como la amistad, la superación o la empatía. Esta confluencia de temáticas y relaciones consigue crear un equilibro durante la lectura.

Sin duda alguna considero que "Flores de la calle" es una obra interesante y muy bien llevada que deja huella tanto por su originalidad en la narración como por el insólito acontecimiento que describe.

Un libro muy apropiado para demostrar a los más jóvenes que a través de medios pacifistas se puede combatir un régimen y exponer públicamente el desacuerdo social.
Profile Image for Anne.
108 reviews4 followers
April 2, 2021
I picked up this copy from the YA section of our library and have been reading a lot of Second World War fiction, non-fiction for adults and kids lately.

This is a strange history book in that it is quite "bitty" jumping between 3 Edelweiss Pirates from Cologne. Once, I persevered I found it quite compelling. I'm not sure if the short, snapshot passages for the 3 pirates worked as it felt quite choppy as it chopped and changed between the different experiences. Perhaps this was specifically aimed at engaging YA readers however, I think this style may put off more from really getting into it.

Gaddy does an excellent job at prefacing the sources used and the issues with these sources. There is no universal truth, people's memories play tricks on them, official records have inherent bias and specific purposes. The introduction to each part, sets the historical context for what happens to the pirates, their friends and family. The sense of increasing oppression, hardship, fear and sheer difficulty in living day to day, let alone passively or actively resisting the Nazis is conveyed very well.

Flowers in the Gutter highlights that for these young Germans of left-wing, working class backgrounds, joining the pirates was how they chose not to conform. They were teens where families had been fractured by the state, they should've been starting work and socialising. After years of oppression it makes sense that the teen impulse to rebel and test boundaries was to do some shocking rebellious acts and then to try and forget the trauma by going on hikes, dressing differently amongst their friend group in order to escape the bombing raids.

As other reviewers have commented, it would have been interesting to have a bit more about what happened to the pirates post-war.
Profile Image for Asher.
87 reviews1 follower
July 28, 2020
I wrote this review for the HCPL Read+Review program, so I figured I'd post it here:

Flowers in the Gutter tells the true stories of three German youths named Fritz, Gertrud, and Jean who come of age during World War II. Disgusted by Hitler and the Nazi regime, they join groups called "The Edelweiss Pirates." Edelweiss is a flower that grows in the Alps, and the Pirates saw it as a symbol of freedom. They defy the oppressive German government and come into conflict with the Gestapo, SS, and Hitler Youth. They endure great trials and tribulations, but their spirit is never broken.

The book is quite interesting. The topic is quite timely and hopefully will inspire readers to stand up for what they believe in. At first, I thought it would be written in a narrative style, like a fiction book. However, it wasn't exactly like that, "semi-narrative" might be a more suitable adjective. I was glad of this, because it was clear that the author was not taking artistic license while still being engaging and readable. While I had no major issue with the book, I did feel that there were slight undertones of criticism toward traditionalism and conservatism, while glossing over issues with Communism. That said, this was not particularly important in the context of the book: youth standing up to Nazism. Also, there was some use of strong language - appropriate situationally, but I felt I should warn of it.

I think the most memorable aspect of the book was the beginning section. The depiction of Germany's descent into a Fascist nightmare was visceral; I could almost feel the tension and disorder in the air, and I felt very bad for the protagonists, who at this juncture were only children with no real idea of what was going on.
16 reviews1 follower
June 4, 2022
This nonfiction book tells the true story of the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of German teenagers who worked together to resist the Nazis in WWII. These German teenagers were not willing to go along with fascim and Hitler’s war machine. But it is especially compelling for the story to be about teenagers and their efforts ranging from pranks, graffiti, and anti-war flyers to more dangerous acts of sabotage or helping those being persecuted by the Nazis. All of these things had serious consequences and the book tells some of the successes and failures of their efforts.

All the text is pulled together from diaries, memoirs, Gestapo archives, and interviews and it includes many news clippings and black and white images that really root the story in reality. These teenagers were so brave and it was inspiring to read their story. The teens had to lie about their feelings just to survive, and were even expected to begin their day by greeting a picture of Hitler in school.

“One day, her teacher noticed she wasn’t doing the greeting and sent her to the principal’s office, and her mom was called in. The principal’s gray suit looked as stiff as a uniform. Gertrud suspected that her teacher was a real Nazi, but she wasn’t sure about her principal’s views.

This book is a reminder about how lucky we are to live in a democracy and the dangers of fascism, especially at a time when fascists have recently been tolerated in American politics and culture. I think more nonfiction books about WWII and all world events that were specifically written for young adults, like this one, would be helpful.
Profile Image for Artnoose McMoose.
Author 1 book34 followers
April 4, 2021
The history of the Edelweiss Pirates and related teen resistance group in Germany during the Nazi regime. It follows a handful of the teens throughout their experience, based on government records and interviews done later in life. Apparently these groups were controversial for decades after the fall of the Nazis because popular (and government) perception was that these were hooligans. It was only recently that people have been seeing these groups as part of the resistance movement.
Profile Image for Jennifer Mangler.
1,316 reviews13 followers
December 12, 2021
The title is misleading. This isn't the true story of the Edelweiss Pirates. It's the true story of Fritz, Gertrud, & Jean, three young people who were part of the Edelweiss Pirates. I was expecting to learn about the group as a whole and the wide variety of ways they resisted the Nazis. Instead, this is a much more personal account. That's not a bad thing, but a title change that reflects this would be helpful.
Profile Image for DaughterOfPoseidon.
155 reviews2 followers
September 4, 2022
I found this book very informal and entertaining.

Things I liked:

1. The way things were described was very nice. I like how Gaddy listed some real documents, and the photos were a nice touch.

2. I just love to read about WWII so the fact that this book even exists made me happy so…

Yeah, overall this book was really enjoyable. And I loved it!
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