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Hitler's Canary

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,382 ratings  ·  257 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
...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Roaring Brook Press (first published 2005)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,382 ratings  ·  257 reviews


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David (דוד)
May 27, 2017 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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Stephanie Wood
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love Sandi's writing style and she has opened my eyes to an unknown side of a very well-known historical period.
Eugenia Tong
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 marked it as maybe
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
...more
Megan
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 (not a dude) 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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Steph
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible story about doing what’s right and standing up for people who are being persecuted. Set in WW2 Denmark, centres around a complicated family, each trying to do their bit to fight against the Germans. You meet amazing Orlando, the young, spirited boy who wants to fight the resistance most; Mama, an incredible actress who radiates laughter and warmth; Papa, the realist of the household, an artist who uses his artistic expression greatly and Bamse, the main character. Bamse is young an ...more
Bookish Devil
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I certainly did not expect that this middle-grade novel would turn out to be a heavy read. The story starts off on a bitter note where the German troops invade Denmark in a bid to occupy and take control over it. Little did the twelve-year-old Bknow that his dear homeland would never be the same again after the invasion.
🎭
Many of the characters in the novel are based on the author's father and the events depicted were inspired by the stories he told her. I learned about this fact only towards the
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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
...more
Robin
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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,"livskunst” the art of living.

8 Remembering to laugh when things were
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Solenne
Sep 13, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
Ryan Tse
Sep 13, 2015 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.
Jeremy
Sep 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This story was a bit boring for me, it progressed really slowly and was a bit boring. Was good though.
Valerie
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
A great story about the German occupation of Denmark and the Danish resistance told from an eleven year old boys point of view.
Katie
Sep 04, 2015 rated it liked it
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!
Saffron
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book because it was very exciting and funny at some times but it was also sad, I loved how the author made this book about world war 2
Raphael Tse
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I think this book was action packed but does not really make so much sense to me because I learned about some Danish words.
Yannicke
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Goosebumps. Won't soon forget this book.
Toksvig's writing style is witty and so easy to read, which for me meant that the story hit home even harder. As I did not know anything about WWII in Denmark it made for a very interesting read as well. For (somewhat older) kids I would've given it 5 stars.
"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."
Kaela
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think this book was very interesting. The different techniques used in the story helped me be engaged when reading.
Anya
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Agh this book hurt me on an emotional level, while still being amazing
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 watchin
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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
Ben Sirois
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book talks about Denmark getting taken over by the Nazis.
Amy
Mar 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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
...more
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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.
“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” 3 likes
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