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Robert F. Sibert Award-winner Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups. In her first full-length nonfiction title since winning the Robert F. Sibert Award, Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups."I begin with the young. We old Robert F. Sibert Award-winner Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups. In her first full-length nonfiction title since winning the Robert F. Sibert Award, Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups."I begin with the young. We older ones are used up . . . But my magnificent youngsters! Look at these men and boys! What material! With them, I can create a new world." --Adolf Hitler, Nuremberg 1933 By the time Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, 3.5 million children belonged to the Hitler Youth. It would become the largest youth group in history. Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores how Hitler gained the loyalty, trust, and passion of so many of Germany's young people. Her research includes telling interviews with surviving Hitler Youth members.


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Robert F. Sibert Award-winner Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups. In her first full-length nonfiction title since winning the Robert F. Sibert Award, Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups."I begin with the young. We old Robert F. Sibert Award-winner Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups. In her first full-length nonfiction title since winning the Robert F. Sibert Award, Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores the riveting and often chilling story of Germany's powerful Hitler Youth groups."I begin with the young. We older ones are used up . . . But my magnificent youngsters! Look at these men and boys! What material! With them, I can create a new world." --Adolf Hitler, Nuremberg 1933 By the time Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, 3.5 million children belonged to the Hitler Youth. It would become the largest youth group in history. Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores how Hitler gained the loyalty, trust, and passion of so many of Germany's young people. Her research includes telling interviews with surviving Hitler Youth members.

30 review for Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    I was not an easy adolescent to rear. Or maybe I was just typical. My teenage years definitely featured more than a few slammed doors and threats to never talk to my parents again, along with the occasional 'I wish xxx's parents were my parents.' Now just imagine if these types of disagreements ended with angst-ridden teens shouting "I wish Hitler was my father." But instead of a slammed door they go to school where they're learning eugenics, tell their 18 year old teacher, and then some Naz I was not an easy adolescent to rear. Or maybe I was just typical. My teenage years definitely featured more than a few slammed doors and threats to never talk to my parents again, along with the occasional 'I wish xxx's parents were my parents.' Now just imagine if these types of disagreements ended with angst-ridden teens shouting "I wish Hitler was my father." But instead of a slammed door they go to school where they're learning eugenics, tell their 18 year old teacher, and then some Nazi soldiers show up and the parents mysteriously disappear for three weeks. Powerful children (especially en masse) are supremely creepy to me. Pair that with the atrocities of Nazi Germany and you've got something truly tragic and disturbing. It was not by accident that Hitler rose to power on the shoulders of young people. The things we learn when we are young become a part of us in a way that's so deeply rooted it takes something truly extraordinary to shake our beliefs. I can't say I learned a lot of new facts from this book, but is was interesting to hear individual stories of when and how young people questioned or followed the leaders of the Third Reich. Also, in Hitler Youth one of the classes for the girls was Charm! That just blew my mind.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mariah Roze

    I was very excited to be read this book. Every once in a while I would hear about the Hitler's youth, but I didn't actually know anything about them. This book taught me a ton. Hitler was brilliant, evil and a terrible person, & he knew exactly how to make youth follow him. I had no idea that he set up camps and schools why before the war to educate the German youth. Also, I knew he didn't like people with intellectual and physical disabilities and mental heath issues, but I had no idea that kil I was very excited to be read this book. Every once in a while I would hear about the Hitler's youth, but I didn't actually know anything about them. This book taught me a ton. Hitler was brilliant, evil and a terrible person, & he knew exactly how to make youth follow him. I had no idea that he set up camps and schools why before the war to educate the German youth. Also, I knew he didn't like people with intellectual and physical disabilities and mental heath issues, but I had no idea that killed them. Also, It was really interesting learning about how he tried to kill off the "older" generation and the German people fought back, so that was stopped. I LEARNED SOOO MUCH from this really short book. I encourage everyone to read this!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lewis Weinstein

    Frightening book. Shows how pervasive and persuasive were Hitler's successful efforts to attract young people to his Nazi movement. Some of my notes from an earlier read ... Each boy in the Hitler Youth had a Party Record Book in which his performance and progress were recorded. Boys who held exemplary Party Record Books were selected to attend elite schools established by the Nazis. The Hitler Youth enjoyed the power they had over teachers and other authority figures. Dressed in full uniform, e Frightening book. Shows how pervasive and persuasive were Hitler's successful efforts to attract young people to his Nazi movement. Some of my notes from an earlier read ... Each boy in the Hitler Youth had a Party Record Book in which his performance and progress were recorded. Boys who held exemplary Party Record Books were selected to attend elite schools established by the Nazis. The Hitler Youth enjoyed the power they had over teachers and other authority figures. Dressed in full uniform, entire Hitler Youth squads - 100 boys - showed up at classroom doors to intimidate teachers who did not espouse the Nazi worldview. In Munich, they broke up teachers' association meetings. The Nazi Party would not allow the police to arrest Hitler Youth. In 1936, the Hitler Youth Law made membership compulsory for all eligible youths ages 10-18. By 1938, there were over 7,000,000 members.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Blurb - By the time Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, 3.5 million children belonged to the Hitler Youth. It would become the largest youth group in history. Susan Campbell Bartoletti tells the history of this organization that begins with Hitler's rise to power and moves to the development of the movement, how and what its participants were taught, and the ways their roles changed with the onset of World War II. But this work of nonfiction is much more than an outline of dates. Bartol Blurb - By the time Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, 3.5 million children belonged to the Hitler Youth. It would become the largest youth group in history. Susan Campbell Bartoletti tells the history of this organization that begins with Hitler's rise to power and moves to the development of the movement, how and what its participants were taught, and the ways their roles changed with the onset of World War II. But this work of nonfiction is much more than an outline of dates. Bartoletti explores how Hitler gained the loyalty, trust, and passion of so many of Germany's young people. She does this through extensive research and includes telling interviews with surviving Hitler Youth members. This Newbery Honor book is enhanced by the narration of Kathrin Kana, who voices the facts and information as a compelling story and leaves the listener to gradually become aware of the implications of Hitler's plans for Germany and the Hitler Youth. Hitler's exploitation of Germany's young bought their devotion to the Nazi cause while blinding them to the true motives behind his quest for power. Kana's steady voice propels the narrative to its conclusion without diminishing the story's brutality. A concluding slideshow of photographs (to be viewed on computer) adds an important dimension to the narrative and demonstrates a meaningful innovation for audiobooks. An added bonus is an introduction and epilogue spoken by the author, which add power to the presentation. Read by Kathrin Kana Award-winning nonfiction that personalizes the children who belonged to the Hitler Youth—the largest youth group in history. Stunningly good account but definitely not for kiddlewinks.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

    This chilling book offers its readers an unusual perspective. As the author states, it is not a book about Hitler himself, nor is it really about the millions of victims who were horrifically murdered under his regime. This book instead focuses on a generation of young men and women who were seduced by his false promises and who chose to follow and devote their hopes and energies to his movement, unwittingly playing a role in the unimaginable horrors that followed. The book is based on first-han This chilling book offers its readers an unusual perspective. As the author states, it is not a book about Hitler himself, nor is it really about the millions of victims who were horrifically murdered under his regime. This book instead focuses on a generation of young men and women who were seduced by his false promises and who chose to follow and devote their hopes and energies to his movement, unwittingly playing a role in the unimaginable horrors that followed. The book is based on first-hand accounts of a dozen young men and women who were part of the Hitler Youth Organization, and who later clearly felt they had been misled and taken advantage of for what proved to be hideous and evil purposes. In contrast, Bartoletti also tells the story of the brave young men and women who resisted the Nazi movement, and risked their lives in doing so. Something that struck me in this book was a truth of the holocaust about which I personally had previously been unaware. (Note: This may be a "spoiler" for some as it came as a surprise to me). Bartoletti tells the story of an unusual letter sent to Hitler which ultimately gave him the idea to rid society of the disabled -- persons he deemed were mere "useless eaters." By killing off those unable to serve society, he could save the government money to fund the war. He thus authorized a top secret mass murder movement of the mentally and physically ill and disabled. Patients were taken to "special" hospitals, where they were secretly euthanized, shot, or sent to gas chambers, while the bodies were cremated to hide the evidence. Families were then told that their loved ones died of heart failure or pneumonia. When suspicions and rumors grew, they were denied and deemed "absurd." Apparently, it was here, with the disabled, that Hitler's use of gas chambers and other methods of mass murder first originated. Often when I read of the holocaust, I wonder of my own fate and choices had I lived in Germany during those times. Raised in a Christian (Catholic) family, I used to speculate whether or not my family and I would have been brave enough to risk our lives in hiding and protecting Jews and other targeted individuals in our home. Now I realize that may never have even been an option for me. If my circumstances were the same as they are today, I'd have been deemed a "useless eater." I could have been among the first to go. A chilling realization. This is a disturbing, but very important book. In the author's own words: "By nature, human beings search for ways to make sense and meaning out of their lives and their world. One way that we make meaning is through the telling of our stories. Stories connect us, teach us, and warn us never to forget."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kellee Moye

    Full review at: http://www.unleashingreaders.com/?p=1592 During World War II, Hitler controlled more than just the military; he controlled the entire country of Germany. Much of what this book explains are parts of the WWII history that is not taught in our schools and shows the true extent of the power that Hitler had over everyone. The Hitler Youth began as a voluntary organization to support Hitler, but it quickly became a way for Hitler to control the youth. Soon the Hitler Youth was not volu Full review at: http://www.unleashingreaders.com/?p=1592 During World War II, Hitler controlled more than just the military; he controlled the entire country of Germany. Much of what this book explains are parts of the WWII history that is not taught in our schools and shows the true extent of the power that Hitler had over everyone. The Hitler Youth began as a voluntary organization to support Hitler, but it quickly became a way for Hitler to control the youth. Soon the Hitler Youth was not voluntary and they were being used in much the same way as the military. This book tells true stories of children in the Hitler Youth and children that were brave enough to speak up. It is truly horrific and fascinating. Susan Campbell Bartoletti uses a combination of narrative and expository writing to take her reader on a journey through Nazi controlled Germany starting with their depression and taking us through the the end of World War II. By intertwining true stories of the youth of Germany with historical fact, Bartoletti pulls at your heart strings and shows the true effect that Hitler had on the entire nation. It also takes you through the steps that Hitler took to brainwash the entire population, starting with the most desperate citizens, including the youth. Although many nonfiction books are hard to get through and are dry, this one has a voice to it that is deeper and more sensitive than most. You become connected to the people of Germany and the youth of the story, so it doesn't matter if that I already know the outcome- you have to know how they make it out of their deceit filled situation.

  7. 4 out of 5

    LeeAnn

    What a chilling book. It documents what can happen when youth are indoctrinated by evil men (or women) from a young age and how it can happen in any culture. The necessity for good people to guide youth in learning to choose good over evil and recognize it for what it is. And yet it also caused me to look over our own society and wonder how many of those scenarios have already occurred. How many history textbooks have already rewritten? How many do not learn from the classics? How many accept oth What a chilling book. It documents what can happen when youth are indoctrinated by evil men (or women) from a young age and how it can happen in any culture. The necessity for good people to guide youth in learning to choose good over evil and recognize it for what it is. And yet it also caused me to look over our own society and wonder how many of those scenarios have already occurred. How many history textbooks have already rewritten? How many do not learn from the classics? How many accept others opinions as their own rather than seeking out their own learning? A technique employed in Hitler Youth was to keep adults away. Children led children. The figurehead for the entire organization was only 26 years old himself, fashioned by the Nazi powers. Isn't that what happens to too many teens? Left to be guided by their own peers who don't know much more (if that much) than they do themselves? In another book I read, it commented that it takes less than 4 generations to bring on a new atrocity---when the generation who remembers the last devastation is either considered to be too old and out of touch or dead and another cycle repeats. Must reading for everyone, in my opinion!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Not wholly satisfying in terms of depth and nuance, like all YA non-fiction I've read thus far. But still this book managed to shock me. And, raised on WWII movies and books, I am not easily shocked when it comes to Nazis. Very sad to read about so deeply indoctrinated children, but then again, there is nothing particularly new about it. Young men seem to be the easiest to influence and they are the first to die in wars. Not wholly satisfying in terms of depth and nuance, like all YA non-fiction I've read thus far. But still this book managed to shock me. And, raised on WWII movies and books, I am not easily shocked when it comes to Nazis. Very sad to read about so deeply indoctrinated children, but then again, there is nothing particularly new about it. Young men seem to be the easiest to influence and they are the first to die in wars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Excellent middle grade book on WWII that is very straight forward. Would be more beneficial if child is familiar with happenings of the war. Great talking points are presented. (Note:Kathryn did not like. I'm afraid I've passed on my NF gene to her) Excellent middle grade book on WWII that is very straight forward. Would be more beneficial if child is familiar with happenings of the war. Great talking points are presented. (Note:Kathryn did not like. I'm afraid I've passed on my NF gene to her)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Steele

    If waning to research for a WWII book, I highly recommend this one! It has stories from HY and you can really understand how they thought. Some stories are horrible, so if you think it will bother you, I would suggest a different book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    This book (I listened to audio version, but I went back and got book after my first review & added notes) is filed in the library in the Jr/Teen section. Excellent factual details. The brainwashing of the German youth to follow a mass-murderer is clearly a sad fact from WWII. So many of the best minds/spirits (youth) lost (killed). Resisters were jailed, hung, shot, beheaded. This book details about 10 different youths (or small groups). Would our 15 year olds today stand by their principles to This book (I listened to audio version, but I went back and got book after my first review & added notes) is filed in the library in the Jr/Teen section. Excellent factual details. The brainwashing of the German youth to follow a mass-murderer is clearly a sad fact from WWII. So many of the best minds/spirits (youth) lost (killed). Resisters were jailed, hung, shot, beheaded. This book details about 10 different youths (or small groups). Would our 15 year olds today stand by their principles to the point of their execution? Would I? Staunch Hitler Youth were sometimes hard to persuade to the facts after the war, as they were in total disbelief that they were lied to so badly. Thankfully, some became vocal historians/speakers/writers. Powerful, concise accounts in this book. Should maybe be required reading for the youth of today. Adding to this review (since I listened to audio book originally - these notes below pertain to the book) Wow! Get the book! Now I see why it won the Newberry Award "The Medal shall be awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published in English in the United States during the preceding year." When I went to put this book on hold at my local library, I noticed that every single branch of my county library system owned a copy of the book. That should have been the first hint how good this book is. The book opens up with pictures of the 9 kids (9th group of Scholl family has 3), with brief bio. The book contains applicable pictures on 3 out of every 4 pages. An epilogue briefly summarizes the 9 kids fates. The author reminds us at the end that: Just say "Adolf Hitler," and the name of the man responsible for the deaths of over 53 million people - most in their late teens and early twenties - evokes disgust." A full 115 source bibliography concludes the book. Never Forget Please go watch the National Geographic 2-part documentary on Hitler Youth https://www.nationalgeographic.com/tv... You need to have a cable-TV subscription of some type (AT&T TV, DirectTV, Xfinity, etc.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Divyansh

    It's a great book for someone to know more about the Hitler Youth, how they fell under Nazi control. It also states how Jews were treated and some courageous young people who tried to convince the people, that what the Nazis were doing was completely wrong. It's a great book for someone to know more about the Hitler Youth, how they fell under Nazi control. It also states how Jews were treated and some courageous young people who tried to convince the people, that what the Nazis were doing was completely wrong.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Josiah

    "What can happen to a people whose youth sacrifices everything in order to serve its greatest ideals?" —Adolf Hitler, "Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow", P. 157 "By nature, human beings search for ways to make sense and meaning out of their lives and their world. One way that we make meaning is through the telling of our stories. Stories connect us, teach us, and warn us never to forget." —"Hitler Youth", P. 162 From page one, Susan Campbell Bartoletti lays it out on the table that t "What can happen to a people whose youth sacrifices everything in order to serve its greatest ideals?" —Adolf Hitler, "Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow", P. 157 "By nature, human beings search for ways to make sense and meaning out of their lives and their world. One way that we make meaning is through the telling of our stories. Stories connect us, teach us, and warn us never to forget." —"Hitler Youth", P. 162 From page one, Susan Campbell Bartoletti lays it out on the table that this is not a book about Hitler; it's about the Hitler Youth groups that the fuhrer instigated all around Germany in the decades leading up to the 1940s, and how this force of youthful manpower was able to so profoundly affect the second Great War. One photograph in particular of a captured thirteen-year-old German "soldier", seen on page 143, illustrates this concept most starkly of all. Some of the most deeply heartrending fiction that I have ever read is centered around World War II, and the tragic holocaust of the six million Jews that seems to have been at the core of that massive power struggle. I would not hesitate to include this gripping non-fiction book with the best of the other volumes. Through the pictures, words and scenarios of real members in the Hitler Youth organizations, that is, the German kids and teenagers that Adolf Hitler was able to commandeer as the primary impetus behind his drive to change the world and become its unquestioned fuhrer, we are given a new and unique look into just what made for the devastating results of the second World War. I have read quite a bit about Nazi Germany in the past but had never fully grasped the enormous role that the German kids and teenagers played in advancing Hitler's agenda of domination and "purification" of the Aryan race. "Hitler Youth" plumbs the depths of this aspect of World War II in tremendously thorough depth, ultimately driving home with powerful resonance the point that motivated young people are capable of just about anything. If the inherent joy and power and drive of young people is synergized and turned to one specific common goal, then what can possibly stop it? "What I want most of all is that you live in uprightness and freedom of spirit, no matter how difficult that may be." —Robert Scholl, "Hitler Youth", P. 110 The power of this book will really creep up on you. Educators and parents might be presented with a difficult challenge in the task of getting young readers to take the time to experience this book, but as a young reader myself I would positively assert that anyone will come away from finishing this book a different person than when they started. It is a strong, upsetting, compelling story told through an author who clearly has the ability to paint such true events as they really were, without missing out on any of the gripping intensity that the people must have originally felt as the story unfolded in their own lives. Most of all, this non-fiction novel leaves behind a powerful feeling within the heart of the reader, as well as some questions about the past and the present that cannot easily be dismissed. Many of the people who suffered the horrors of Nazi persecution, and even many of those that inflicted such horrible pain, are still living and breathing, carrying in their hearts and souls along with the heart-crushing hurt an invaluable piece of history that we must not miss, for anything. Those that went through the terror of persecution must not be forgotten, because their lives matter, as much now as they did when they went through the most harrowing trials of those lives in Nazi Germany. Susan Campbell Bartoletti quietly and simply lays out the facts, letting us read for ourselves the many varied stories of betrayal and courage, of evil and heroism. These facts are allowed to speak for themselves to the reader, to deliver to the reader's heart whatever message would be conveyed. It is in this quietness of purpose that "Hitler Youth" shines brightly for all that it is: A magnificent non-fiction book, and a magnificent novel. I would give it three and a half stars, if that option were viable. "What good are kindness, self-sacrifice, energy, and a sense of responsibility if they are so jealously guarded that only one's brothers and sisters may benefit from them?" —Melita Maschmann, "Hitler Youth", P. 151 "In the end, I felt hope. I realized that my soul was not permanently scarred after all. I was still a human being." —Karl Schnibbe, "Hitler Youth", P. 152

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    Like most YA (and J) non-fiction, Hitler Youth isn't an in-depth treatise and shouldn't be judged as such. This look at the manipulation and brainwashing of Germany's adolescents in the 30s and 40s taught me a great deal. I can't even tell you now what my preconceived notions about the Hitler Youth were prior to reading this book. Certainly, I had no clue how pervasive and well organized the program was, nor how so many of those kids were, for all intents and purposes, soldiers. I found it horri Like most YA (and J) non-fiction, Hitler Youth isn't an in-depth treatise and shouldn't be judged as such. This look at the manipulation and brainwashing of Germany's adolescents in the 30s and 40s taught me a great deal. I can't even tell you now what my preconceived notions about the Hitler Youth were prior to reading this book. Certainly, I had no clue how pervasive and well organized the program was, nor how so many of those kids were, for all intents and purposes, soldiers. I found it horrifying. Thank God Bartoletti balanced the atrocities with stories like that of the Scholls and the White Rose group, and others who worked for the resistance. What fascinated me most, though, was the aftermath of the war. What happens to a defeated country filled with a generation of teens and young adults who have been the subjects of Nazi indoctrination? I don't know that I was ever taught about Germany's reconstruction (a term I usually think of in terms of the US Civil War), but I surely haven't given it much thought 'til now. Even Hitler Youth just touched on the reconstruction and reeducation undertaken by Britain, France, and the US. In retrospect, this bold plan was probably fraught with risk. Certainly the Soviets thought so. And yet, a few decades later my father, a WWII vet, traveled to Germany where he visited with a distant cousin against whom he had once taken up arms. It's a miraculous thing in my mind, and I wish I'd paid more attention and asked a lot more questions when I was younger. But the good news is that Bartoletti has left me eager to learn more, and excited to recommend her book to others.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    Fascinating and horrifying, this book shows how Hitler cultivated his following and infiltrated the minds of the young, warping them to his worldview. So disturbing. It also tells the story of the resistance of The White Rose and Helmuth Huebener (read The Boy Who Dared for more on his story) and others. Told factually and with many photographs in a very large font I finished this book in about three hours. Very interesting read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Listened to this one. I can see some parallels between what happened very early on as Hitler was gaining power and what is happening now with Trump. Extremely unsettling! Very well researched by the author. 3.5 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amie

    Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti is a captivating informational text that takes a look at the young people who joined the Hitler Youth Organization, as well as the young Germans who opposed it and the young Jewish people who it targeted. The book starts with the rise of Hitler as Chancellor of Germany and his promise to make Germany strong and successful again after its fall from World War I. He enticed children to join Hitler Youth by promising them excit Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti is a captivating informational text that takes a look at the young people who joined the Hitler Youth Organization, as well as the young Germans who opposed it and the young Jewish people who it targeted. The book starts with the rise of Hitler as Chancellor of Germany and his promise to make Germany strong and successful again after its fall from World War I. He enticed children to join Hitler Youth by promising them excitement and adventure and a better future. The book follows twelve German children and the path they took before and during World War II. Their memories about that time are interwoven with important events. Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler’s Shadow won the prestigious Robert F. Sibert Award for Distinguished Informational Book in 2006. It was noted for being excellent, engaging, and distinctive in language and presentation. A review from Booklist adds, “most of the accounts and photos bring close the experiences of those who followed Hitler and fought for the Nazis, revealing why they joined, how Hitler used them, what it was like.” The book starts with introducing the twelve young people who the author has interviewed. There is a paragraph on each one along with their picture from that time. Following the introduction is a Foreword that grabs your attention right away. The first line states, “THIS IS NOT A BOOK ABOUT ADOLF HITLER.” Right next to this is a photograph of a child no more than six years old wearing an SA uniform and giving the Nazi salute. This photograph and many others gave me chills as I read on. Each two page spread has at least one black and white photo of people or events, along with a detailed caption. The information flows effectively from one page to the next, following the Hitler Youth from 1933 to 1945. This book is intended for grades 7-12, and the author does a good job holding the reader’s attention with stories of Hitler Youth mixed in with the atrocities of the time. Children reading this text can relate to wanting to rebel against their parents, to losing friendships because of prejudices, and to caving into peer pressure even though they may not agree with their peers. The end pages show that this text is accurate and credible because Bartoletti has included the following resources: a timeline of the Hitler Youth, author’s note, information about the photographs, quote sources, bibliography, acknowledgments and an index. One of the most gripping parts of the book, the epilogue, also comes at the end. It takes a look at what has happened to the young people from the book and the guilt some of them have lived with since the time of Hitler.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    As someone who grew up when World War II was recent news rather than ancient history, who has lived in Germany, and has read quite a lot on World War II, Naziism and the Holocaust, I came to this book not expecting to learn much that was new. I read it as part of a scheme to read all the Newbery Award winners and honor books. Nine times out of ten, the Newbery Awards and Honors go to fiction, so I was also interested to see what kind of non-fiction was thought deserving of this honor. Susan Camp As someone who grew up when World War II was recent news rather than ancient history, who has lived in Germany, and has read quite a lot on World War II, Naziism and the Holocaust, I came to this book not expecting to learn much that was new. I read it as part of a scheme to read all the Newbery Award winners and honor books. Nine times out of ten, the Newbery Awards and Honors go to fiction, so I was also interested to see what kind of non-fiction was thought deserving of this honor. Susan Campbell Bartoletti uses the lens of the children and adolescents of Hitler's Germany to tell the story of the rise and fall of Naziism and the war in Europe. The book is far more than a history of the Hitler Youth (HitlerJugend); it also tells stories of Jewish youth and their experiences, and of the various youth resistance movements, especially the White Rose. As the war went on, many Hitler Youth went into the German armed forces (even at very young ages), and these stories are told as well. Through interviews with those still living, letters, diaries, and memoirs, and with the use of photographs from German and Allied archives, Bartoletti gives a complete picture of life under Hitler for children and young people. It would be an excellent book for kids who have read fictional works about this period and would like to know more of the facts. And if my experience is any guide, adults can learn a lot from it too. Very highly recommended.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I really learned a lot from this book. I remember learning about World War II throughout my schooling, even at the college level. However, I never knew how much of an impact Hitler Youth had on the war. These children were brain washed to the point where they would even turn in their parents to the authorities for disagreeing with what Hitler said. I also had no idea that Hitler Youth were sent to the front lines to fight. These children were fighting for a cause that they were lied to about. Ma I really learned a lot from this book. I remember learning about World War II throughout my schooling, even at the college level. However, I never knew how much of an impact Hitler Youth had on the war. These children were brain washed to the point where they would even turn in their parents to the authorities for disagreeing with what Hitler said. I also had no idea that Hitler Youth were sent to the front lines to fight. These children were fighting for a cause that they were lied to about. Many had no knowledge of the concentration camps. This book really opened my eyes about the role Hitler Youth played in the war. By using real people to recall the events they lived through Bartoletti gives a honest account of what life was like for the German youth during World War II. The photographs in the book have a huge impact as well, when you see the faces of these children. They all look so young, but they are holding guns, ready to fight and die for their country. I found this book very informative. Due to the nature of the material, and the amount of text, I would recommend this book for middle school and high school students. This book really gives youth a great deal to reflect on. Bartoletti closes her book by asking the reader, “Could another despot like Hitler rise to power on the shoulders of young people?”

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    In her book Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler’s Shadow, Susan Campbell Bartoletti examines the organization that included more than seven million boys and girls and was instrumental in the growth of the Nazi Party. Bartoletti chronicles the lives of twelve adolescents who lived in Germany between 1932 and 1945. Some of these youth were attracted to Hitler’s promise of hope for the German people. Others were attracted to the sports and recreational activities available to the Hitler Youth. And o In her book Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler’s Shadow, Susan Campbell Bartoletti examines the organization that included more than seven million boys and girls and was instrumental in the growth of the Nazi Party. Bartoletti chronicles the lives of twelve adolescents who lived in Germany between 1932 and 1945. Some of these youth were attracted to Hitler’s promise of hope for the German people. Others were attracted to the sports and recreational activities available to the Hitler Youth. And others joined the organization out of fear. Some joined at their parents’ urging, others despite their parents’ protests. Some were loyal and fought on the front lines. Others eventually resisted and were sent to concentration camps. In addition to its biographical elements, Hitler Youth also includes many historical details that give the reader a good overview of Germany’s role in European history from the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 to the reunification of Germany in 1990. This is a powerful book and includes many photographs. Not only would it be a valuable resource in any world history class, but it would be a wonderful addition to a literature class as well. Many of the chapters can stand alone and be used as supplemental reading material in a thematic unit.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    I had heard about Hitler Youth but I never got a lot of details about that organization. I took a German film class in my undergraduate and we watched a movie called Sophie Scholl, so I knew quite a bit about her and the White Rose. I guess I never realized how the Nazi propaganda and Hitler’s speeches had totally and utterly brainwashed the children of Germany. It was astonishing and sad to see so many children willing to fight and die for a man that condoned the murder of Jews, gypsies, homose I had heard about Hitler Youth but I never got a lot of details about that organization. I took a German film class in my undergraduate and we watched a movie called Sophie Scholl, so I knew quite a bit about her and the White Rose. I guess I never realized how the Nazi propaganda and Hitler’s speeches had totally and utterly brainwashed the children of Germany. It was astonishing and sad to see so many children willing to fight and die for a man that condoned the murder of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals in concentration and death camps. Even after viewing footage and listening to the recordings of the pain, suffering and death that was dealt to those people in the camps, the children still refused to believe it. They couldn’t believe that their Fuhrer was capable of such atrocities. That is why the Cultural Revolution in China was so successful. Chairman Mao had used the same strategies to brainwash the youth of the nation into believing whatever he said. Hitler and Chairman Mao were both revered and worshiped by the youth of those countries when they were in power. This was very informative and I am very glad that I read it but it still seems so unreal that a country anywhere in the world would exploit their youth so belligerently. Ages 12-18

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rhea

    A chilling insight into the dark and maniacal machine that was Adolf Hitler's perspective of the ideal factory of German youth. Bittersweet, it was, to read of how innocent children transformed by choice into a brainwashed, like minded army, and by doing so, selling their soul to 'their Fuhrer' whom had been lying to them the whole time. The Nazis had created themselves an army by poisoning naive minds, so much to the point that they were willing to betray their loved ones to serve a promise of A chilling insight into the dark and maniacal machine that was Adolf Hitler's perspective of the ideal factory of German youth. Bittersweet, it was, to read of how innocent children transformed by choice into a brainwashed, like minded army, and by doing so, selling their soul to 'their Fuhrer' whom had been lying to them the whole time. The Nazis had created themselves an army by poisoning naive minds, so much to the point that they were willing to betray their loved ones to serve a promise of victory that they would never achieve. The book gives a completely alternate perspective to the holocaust, victimising the German people almost more than the Jews and showing just how Hitler was able to gain a stranglehold over 67 million people to the point where he could authorise murder on whomever he pleased. But in doing so, it extends one's understanding of how one venomous-minded individual was able to demolish the power of an economically dominant religion in a country, guide a nation into emotional destruction and build a mass-slaughter house in their backyard, beyond the common knowledge: by using the most accessible yet decisive army available on our planet. Children.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I greatly enjoyed this book and the unique look at German youth. Though I think the section on concentration camps and Jewish youth was a bit cliche - most middle school students get plenty of that point of view through exposure to Anne Frank, The Devil's Arithmetic, Number the Stars and other popular Holocaust stories. Of course, those are legitimately good stories, but I picked up Hitler Youth because I wanted to see a less-demonized/cliche version of the Germans. Thankfully that section of t I greatly enjoyed this book and the unique look at German youth. Though I think the section on concentration camps and Jewish youth was a bit cliche - most middle school students get plenty of that point of view through exposure to Anne Frank, The Devil's Arithmetic, Number the Stars and other popular Holocaust stories. Of course, those are legitimately good stories, but I picked up Hitler Youth because I wanted to see a less-demonized/cliche version of the Germans. Thankfully that section of the book doesn't overwhelm the other enormous and astonishing tales of these children who were part of Hitler's baby military. The reading level is a bit lower than I would prefer for my sophomores, but I think I would still recommend it to grades 6-10. It is an engaging nonfiction read and it describes lesser-known tales of the Holocaust & WWII. Fascinating. I think it will appeal to teens, especially, in the tales it tells about the power of individuals, no matter what the age.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kimball

    Usually after finishing a book I often ask myself, "Why couldn't I have read this in high school or at least when I was younger because I didn't learn anything while I was in school." Sometimes I think I've learned more in the past two years of certain subjects than high school ever taught me. Maybe that's because I'm older though, and willing to learn. I enjoyed this book a lot and got a greater glimpse of life when Hitler reigned. I'm still baffled how he was able to raise an army after losing Usually after finishing a book I often ask myself, "Why couldn't I have read this in high school or at least when I was younger because I didn't learn anything while I was in school." Sometimes I think I've learned more in the past two years of certain subjects than high school ever taught me. Maybe that's because I'm older though, and willing to learn. I enjoyed this book a lot and got a greater glimpse of life when Hitler reigned. I'm still baffled how he was able to raise an army after losing WWI in such a short of time. It's ironic to think that the Treaty of Versailles actually helped spur WWII. I couldn't help but be reminded of Bernie Sanders while reading this book. I'm not saying that he is like Hitler but some of the tactics are similar; his strategy of attracting Millennials and their dumb #feelthebern campaign just has a familiar ring to it. I watched this neat video last year that shows the death toll of WWII compared to previous and post wars. It's very informative and ends with a hopeful message.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Janette

    Okay, even though I vowed not to give stars to books anymore (too many friends who are authors) I had to give this book five stars. I think everybody should read it. I've read so many books about Jewish people during World War Two (good books that everyone should read too) but this is the first book I've read about how Hitler indoctrinated the youth of Germany. Absolutely chilling. I keep thinking of all the dystopian novels I've read, and how while reading them I've thought: This could never hap Okay, even though I vowed not to give stars to books anymore (too many friends who are authors) I had to give this book five stars. I think everybody should read it. I've read so many books about Jewish people during World War Two (good books that everyone should read too) but this is the first book I've read about how Hitler indoctrinated the youth of Germany. Absolutely chilling. I keep thinking of all the dystopian novels I've read, and how while reading them I've thought: This could never happen. I realized while reading this book--it's already happened. Germany during World War Two was a dystopian society. It's important that we learn about it and never forget it, so we won't ever repeat it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    This book is about the youth of Germany who grew up under the beliefs of Hitler. It highlights different youth and their experiences. Some who believed Hitler, others who fought against what was being taught. Several boys highlighted are Mormons who never laid their beliefs aside, yet it highlights their struggles. A great new look of WWII.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This richly detailed look at different perspectives of youth in Germany during Hitler's reign would be great for a kid who is fascinated by that time period. It could also be used for someone who wonders how armies can convince so many bright young people to join up and kill without questioning; or how societies create bigots. This richly detailed look at different perspectives of youth in Germany during Hitler's reign would be great for a kid who is fascinated by that time period. It could also be used for someone who wonders how armies can convince so many bright young people to join up and kill without questioning; or how societies create bigots.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    This nonfiction account of young adults' role in Nazi Germany was extremely well composed. I was a bit apprehensive to read yet another Holocaust book, especially a true account, but Bartoletti's gathering of many teenagers stories makes this a really compelling read. While shocking and heart-breaking, I felt that I learned a lot about how a nation could get swept under such a spell of evil. This nonfiction account of young adults' role in Nazi Germany was extremely well composed. I was a bit apprehensive to read yet another Holocaust book, especially a true account, but Bartoletti's gathering of many teenagers stories makes this a really compelling read. While shocking and heart-breaking, I felt that I learned a lot about how a nation could get swept under such a spell of evil.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janelle Fila

    The research in this non-fiction book blew me away! I never knew about the level of involvement young people had in WWII. This book really shines a spotlight on the power of teens and just reinforces why they need to read books like this!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    This book is what made my love for studying WWII take off. It introduced me to the Scholls and White Rose group and made me have a greater understanding of Nazi Germany. Definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy studying WWII history.

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