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Flowers in the Gutter

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  44 reviews
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, beginni
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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Gil Burket Junior High or Senior High. The story it tells of German teens taking a stand against the Nazis is both significant and compelling. Suspense also buil…moreJunior High or Senior High. The story it tells of German teens taking a stand against the Nazis is both significant and compelling. Suspense also builds through the book, so it is engaging as well. But the story it tells is violent... consider the sensitivities of the teen before recommending it. (less)

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  149 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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The Nerd Daily
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 f
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 th
Sakina (aforestofbooks)
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 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 exci
Liv Morris
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 de
Melanie Dulaney
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Pam Kelley
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Lindy Ryan
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 Hitle
Laura Gardner
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love reading nonfiction that shows teenagers standing up for their beliefs. Highly recommend this NF book about the #EdelweissPirates! Grades 7+
〰️ Flowers in the Gutter is about the Edelweiss Pirates, German non-Jewish teens who were persecuted for being nonconformist and freethinking and chose to start resistance efforts in response. Gaddy uses extensive primary sources, interviews, archival materials and original photographs to tell a comprehensive story about Gertrud, Jean, and Fritz, th
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
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 ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reviewed for

Overall Review:
Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of The Teenagers Who Resisted the Nazis follows three teens in their fight against evil. The debut work of author K. R. Gaddy, this fascinating nonfiction includes lots of photographs, memos, and newspaper articles from the time period. Gaddy provides a cache of well-researched information about this little-known resistance group. Mucki, Jean, and Fritz -- the three interviewed for the book --have riveti
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was a bit confused at the start -- I thought it was a history of the Edelweiss movements all over and it took me a long time to realize it was concentrated on three people in Cologne. But once that was dealt with I settled in to follow these three representative kids who dodge the Hitler Youth and instead hung out with more hippie types and dabbled in resistance -- at first leaflets but later acts of sabotage. All three spent time in various prison camps as a result. Many of their friends and ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Virtually the only internal resistance within Germany is generally touted as the White Rose led by the Scholl siblings here in Munich. Less known is the loosely affiliated group discussed in this book, the Edelweiss Pirates based in the Ruhr region. Towards the end the author makes the distinction between the two groups in that the former were center-right (I would like to learn more about this), while the ones covered in this book came from leftist backgrounds although as the author herself poi ...more
Thomas Kapsidelis
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
K.R. Gaddy’s “Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers who Resisted the Nazis,” is categorized as nonfiction for young adults but is a must for anyone interested in the daring and determined resistance of young people during World War II. Gaddy’s deeply researched and wonderfully illustrated work tells the personal stories of young people who saw their country change before their eyes and bravely committed themselves to resistance. A bonus in the book are the man ...more
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is labeled young adult, but can be an interesting read for adults. This is a book I picked up thinking I would read more accounts of Jewish people during the Holocaust. I was wrong it is a book about young Germans who were against the Nazis.

We don’t hear much about these youths because they are on the political opposition to the western world view. Many and most of them were on the Solicalist and Communists politics. But there stories of resistance deserve to be told. It is done in a respe
An incredible read. Some of the information provided was a bit basic for me - I've read a lot about WWII and taken a few classes on it - but it'll be perfect for teens. It follows three individuals for the most part, and their stories were fascinating, especially because they're all from the same city but they never really overlap. It goes to show just how big and how secretive this resistance movement was. I also really appreciated Gaddy's note at the end about the "Navajo" group and about the ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was of interest to me because it records the activities of a young group of resisters, The Edelweiss Pirates, in Germany during WWII taking place in Cologne, Ehrenfeld and a few other places. Their activities consisted of bravely harassing the Nazis any way they could, enduring beatings and torture when they were caught. After the war, they were described and categorized as street punks largely because they did not have explicit political doctrine. They came from working class families ...more
Stephanie Gorton
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a true story that is more chilling, urgent, and inspiring than any fiction could be. The story of these teenagers reacting to the violence visited on their families and hometown was new to me, and I found I couldn't put the book down until I learned what became of them. Though the book is marketed at a young adult audience, it's a rich read for anyone. The inclusion of many images and primary-source documents is a fantastic touch, bringing you even closer to the characters, the way of li ...more
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this, but I have trouble picturing the student in my Middle School who will make it through. The author shares the very personal, meticulously researched stories of three average German citizens who as teens participated in activities that she argues were resistance efforts. She convinced me, making her point that even though their actions were small, they added to the constant thorn in the Nazis' sides. But will she be able to make her point with students? I think it will be h ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've always been curious about the Edelweiss Pirates, and this author did the work, putting faces some of the members of this largely teenaged resistance group in WWII Germany in this well-researched work of narrative nonfiction. This book will pair nicely in the classroom with books like THE FAITHFUL SPY for a glimpse into what it was like to live under fascism and how frightening--but necessary--it was to fight against it. It'll especially appeal to young readers today looking for ways to stan ...more
Ali McTavish
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was given an ARC of this book by Penguin Teen Canada in exchange for a review.

I am giving Flowers in the Gutter 4 stars. I really enjoyed this book, and found it incredibly fascinating. I thought it was very well researched, and i loved learning about this group of people I had never heard of.

While I didn’t love the authors writing style, the premise and points of view from the three pirates is what made me really enjoy it.

I recommend checking it out, as I think more people need to know about
Mrs. Reno
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 stud ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting, unknown and shunted aside in history these stories usually grasp my attention, although I thought the author kept it on the dry side. Therefore, I found myself questioning why I didn't find the stories as compelling others I have enjoyed for the same actions in the same time in history. I think it could be attributed to writing style and the focus more on the primary sources and less on the human connections, but I am not sure! Without deeper analysis on that, I am still glad I read ...more
Shane Murphey
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had always been interested in stories from WW2, so I felt I would enjoy this book. It had never occurred to me that during World War 2 that there were groups of youth who hated Hitler and did anything they could to sabotage the Nazis. I would suggest this to anybody just interested in learning new things.
This is part of the history of back then that I would have been super interested to learn while I was in school. I would say they should have showed us this part of the history.

Things to loo
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, history, illustrated
A YA non-fiction book about the teens in Dusseldorf and surrounding communities who defied the Nazis, fought the Hitler Youth, were tortured and killed by the Gestapo and in camps. They wanted to sing folk songs, hike, wear colorful clothes, campout and make things difficult for the Nazis. Recommended by Kate Reid, Battenkill Books on 1/14/20 on WAMC. Borrowed from inter library loan.
Ann Marie
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was a look into a subculture I didn’t know existed in Germany during WWII. The author took historical accounts - journal articles, Gestapo/SS records, etc - and built narrative accounts of three Edelweiss Pirates, who resisted the Hitler and Nazi rule. It is a fascinating look, her writing keeps you interested in each person/character, and I learned so much.
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book might have been better to read than it was to listen to. Since I was listening to it, it was hard to keep track of all of the different people and timelines this book was covering. Still, an interesting, inspiring true story about teenagers who defied the Nazis when it would have been much easier to just go along with things. Very well researched.
Macklin R
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I cry every time I hear about teens taking political action and taking their future into their own hands, so I was a wreck for most of this book. The Edelweiss Pirates should serve as inspiration for anti fascist action to this day.
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing style was a bit ham-fisted in the beginning, but it improved after about the first 50 pages and it really started to flow. I loved the account of the three characters and it was such a different, more in-depth look at life in Nazi Germany.
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