Monday, September 14, 2015

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler

At the beginning of World War II, Denmark did not challenge Germany's occupation of their country. In many cases, Denmark adults allowed Hitler's forces to invade their country, move in, and take charge without incident, and in some cases even enjoyed the extra business they brought to their companies and stores. Fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen and a small group of his schoolmates finally had enough of it, and they decided to take matters into their own hands by taking action against the Nazis. The resulting story is The Boys Who Challenged Hitler; Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose.

This book is the fast moving and intriguing story of a group of young patriots who form a secret club called the Churchill Club. Together they stole German weapons and committed several acts of sabotage, including destroying Nazi plans for future airport hangars and creating homemade bombs to destroy cars and trucks of the German army. Often riding on their bicycles to commit these acts against the Nazis, they went a very long time being seen as a small nuisance to the Germans and were certainly not suspected given their innocent means of transportation. As their acts became larger and more troublesome, the Nazis begin to take them much more seriously and the hunt for their capture begins.

This book for youth, chock full of pictures, first hand accounts from some of the participants, and background into the effect that a small group of kids had on inspiring the adults of Denmark to take back their country is a fascinating read for youth and adults alike.

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