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I Am Defiance: A Novel of WWII

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Jenni L. Walsh delivers a gripping story about a real-life youth resistance group in World War II Germany, and about the power of thinking for yourself in the fight against hatred.

Brigitte tries not to ask questions. They don't seem very welcome at her League of German Girls meetings, where she and her friends learn about their duties to Hitler's war effort.

But she can't h
Published February 2nd 2021
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Jenni Walsh
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I think it's pretty good :) ...more
Sierra Dertinger
I am in awe of this new historical fiction novel! There are so many approaches to writing a historical fiction novel based in a certain era or event, but this one is so different. The main character, Brigitte, is very observant and inquisitive. She is a part of a League for young girls who live and reign under Hitler’s rule. The only life she has lived is one where Hitler is known as Fuhrer, aka a ruthless leader. It has been engrained in her head and her heart to follow his rules, to judge othe ...more
Alex  Baugh
The story opens in Munich on April 20, 1942. It's Adolf Hitler's birthday and to celebrate, the local chapters of the Jungmädelbund induct all 10-year-old Aryan girls into the Hitler Youth. Brigitte Schmidt and her best friend are12 and they can't wait for Hitler Youth summer camp and the freedom away from family that it brings. But Germany is at war and that evening, Brigitte is told that there will be no summer camp. Not only that, but when older sister Angelika, 18, begins talking about a tim ...more
Ms. Yingling
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Brigitte enjoys her League of German Girls meetings because they get her out of the house, where she lives with her father and her older sister Angelika. As the Nazis assert more and more control over their town of Munich, the family is wary of sharing any information with anyone. After an incident where another girl has a copy of a book Helen Keller, which is banned, Brigitte knows she can trust no one. This includes her best friend, Marianne, whose home is bombe
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The book is excellent! Unlike any other WWII middle grade historical fiction book that I have read, this book’s main character has to grapple with learning that her government has been lying to her. She starts supporting Hitler’s efforts and then learns some of the truth of what it happening. Her level of bravery and the ending felt realistic.
Melanie Dulaney
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Jenni Walsh’s WWII historical fiction work is told from the viewpoint of 12 year old Brigette, a girl who has been a loyal young Nazi for as long as she can remember, but especially now, in 1942 as the war on both fronts is raging. Brigette’s days are filled with school and activities sponsored by the League of German Girls and evenings are spent at home with her Papa, 19 year old sister Angelika and cat Tigerlily. Like so many young people in Nazi Germany, Brigette and her sister have been trai ...more
Misty  Miller
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
RIVIATING! I am Defiance is a unique look at Nazi Germany and the German people through the eyes of a young German girl. It is easy to cast judgement on others’ choices, but it is important to stop and think of what was taught and what was believed to be truth. Some things cannot be taken at first glance. Walsh weaves a breathtaking story about a girl trying to navigate life when the world is crazy. WW II is in full swing and Brigitte is doing what all good Aryan girls do – attending her League ...more
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Young readers will love this story of Brigette and her family during WWII. It is engaging, informative and suspenseful. I am a fan of many middle grade books that are about WWII, however this book comes from the perspective of a young German girl who is taught to be a faithful follower of Hitler. This book will be part of my classroom library as soon as I receive my pre-order!
Nov 11, 2020 added it
A compelling read that asks, what would you risk to defy the Nazis?
Laura Gardner
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Readalike alert!
If you or your students liked the amazing novel in verse White Rose by @kipwilsonwrites, be sure to check out I Am Defiance by @jennilwalsh. I Am Defiance comes out February 2 from @scholasticinc (thx for the ARC) and it's excellent. Both books are about the difficult decision to #resist and stand up for what's right in a fascist society. If you know me, you know I love books about teen activists and both of these definitely fit the bill.
I Am Defiance is about a young Germ
Lindsay Bandy
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Hindsight can make it seem easy to stand up to an evil regime. Opposing Nazis was a no-brainer, right? But this book reminds kids just how much courage it takes to think for yourself as history is unfolding in real time. In a sea of WWII stories, this one stands out because it offers young readers an inside look at how so many ordinary Germans became complicit while avoiding graphic descriptions of violence.

Growing up, Brigitte has been educated by the girls' branch of Hitler Youth, and like mo
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I AM DEFIANCE is a historical fiction novel that is a true gem and holds a powerful message that the world needs to hear. Brigitte, the protagonist, is a fierce, persistent, and inquisitive girl who has only ever known life under Hitler's rule. She has been taught from a very young age to judge and hate others simply because they are different. I loved that Brigitte was full of questions and when people were reluctant to answer she didn't stop trying to uncover the truth. I love when she said, " ...more
Liz Friend
Mar 30, 2021 rated it liked it
The story: In 1943 Munich, the only way to stay safe is to be a good Nazi--even if you're only 12 years old. Especially when your family is hiding a secret...another reason Brigitte needs to be outwardly perfect. But the regime's lies are becoming more and more evident, and as the bombs fall, Brigitte's sister joins a Resistance group that could send the entire family to a concentration camp. Or worse. Now Brigitte must determine which is more important: the truth, or her family's safety?

June Cl
It’s the perfect book for this grey day that commemorates WWII and the atrocities against humanity.

Set in 1941 Nazi Germany, the story follows the life of a 12 year old girl living in Munich. She is a member of the League of German Girls, and definitely not Jewish. She and her family become part of the passive resistance movement of the White Rose as they come to recognize the lies they’ve been taught.

Throughout the book, you’ll see Germany from the eyes of its youth who were taught the Nazi wa
Karen McKenna
May 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I spent the entire day reading this book and could not put it down even though I needed to get chores done. I found this historical fiction story riveting. The contrast of knowing what Hitler's regime truly was and how the war ended with seeing it from the point of view of a 12 year old who was 3 when Hitler gained power and has been filled with propaganda her whole life drew me in. So many tough questions along the way lead Bridgette to see the world and her role in it differently. I also wonde ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this middle grade WWII book. It was interesting to read from the perspective of a child in a Hitler Youth program slowly start to realize how wrong she'd been about everything. What really stands out to me about this book is that we see another side to Germans. These are anti-Nazi Germans who must continue to put on a false face to protect themselves in a world of "eyes and ears" everywhere. I enjoyed the connection to the White Rose as well. I also loved seeing disabled represe ...more
Mar 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Brigette has only ever known life as taught by Hitler’s government. She enjoys being with her friends and their youth organization. As the war grows closer to them and people she cares about are effected by Hitler’s decisions she begins to question things. Brigitte and her family will have to decide if they should stand for what they believe in.This book teaches about the real resistance group that fought back against Hitler’s teachings. It also helps readers understand how the people of Germany ...more
Bonnie Grover
Apr 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brigitte is trying to be the perfect German girl. She attends the League of German Girls meeting where she learns about her duties to Hitler’s war effort. But when mysterious pamphlets begin showing up in her mailbox: a pamphlet with words like “resistance and freedom”, she can’t help but ask questions. Could her sister, Angelika be involved with the resistance? Is Brigitte’s family in danger of being arrested? How can she take a stand? This is a book that should be in every library. What a grea ...more
Lindsay Currie
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I AM DEFIANCE is both a heartbreaking and beautiful portrayal of childhood under Hitler's rule. I loved Brigitte. She is fearless in her quest for the truth and knowledge, and her determination to figure out what the White Rose Rebellion stands for, while also simultaneously trying to protect her sister along the way, is both educational and inspiring.

I AM DEFIANCE is a complex and gripping exploration of what it means to truly question everything you've been told in the past so that you may ha
Jennifer Guyor Jowett
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jenni Walsh places the reader into the center of the reality of the resistance as seen through the eyes of the main character Brigitte. While her family is in peril from events of the war, the Gestapo, and even their own friends, Brigitte gains strength and courage, and love is the guiding force in her every action. This is a must read for anyone wanting to learn more about German resistance during WWII.
Julie Fischer
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great historical fiction. It is a page turner from the very start. What I liked is that the writing portrayed how scary the situation and gestapo is but without the graphic detail about torture and treatment of people that is found in some books. Because of this, I'd feel comfortable recommending it to younger students (4th and 5th grade) unlike some of the other books about WWll. Great read, exciting story, and history that is important to pass on. ...more
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved so many things about this historical fiction book for middle grade readers and up. I loved how it was told from an unique perspective of a Nazi girl as well as others from her youth group that supports Hitler. I loved learning about the White Rose - something I knew little to nothing about. I loved the action and spellbinding twists the story took. I couldn't put it down, especially towards the end.
Highly recommend!
Dara Yoder
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have read a LOT of World War 2 stories as I previously taught 8th grade and that's in our curriculum. However, this is an original! I loved it - just the right length for junior high kids - strong female character! Suspenseful! It has is all!
Thank you Jenni L Walsh for sharing this book with the Lit Review Crew. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and kept finding myself turning the pages faster and faster. I was on the edge of my seat and even though I knew the story of the White Rose, I learned more about the resistance.
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a strong, intense book! I found myself caring about the characters so much that I was holding my breath for pages at a time!
rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2021
Charlotte Kratzert
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Apr 30, 2021
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Saige Baldwin
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Mar 18, 2021
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Jenni L. Walsh spends her days knee deep in words in Philadelphia’s suburbia. Beyond words, Jenni is a mama (of an soulful seven-year-old, an dinosaur-loving four-year-old, and two needy furbabies), a wife, a Philly and 'Nova sports fan..

But where did it all begin? Jenni spent her early years dabbling in various forms of writing and with her nose in a book. Her writing chops first began to develop

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