Hitler’s Canary

Author: Sandi Toksvis
Reading Level: 5th – 7th

Pages: 191
Publisher: Roaring Brook (originally Randomhouse, UK, 2005)
Edition: Hardcover, 2007

What a feat… a tender, courageous, and often wryly humorous tale about the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Denmark. (Even if it’s just a small corner of the world the Nazi’s had a hold on.) Because of the courage and ingenuity and the strong belief in human equality of the Danish people, most of the 8000+ Jews were sheltered, transported to safety, and survived. This story from pre-and-early-teen Basme’s (Teddy Bear) view point should be introduced to as many young readers as we can! It does not have extremely gruesome depictions that will upset young readers who have yet to know this part of our history, but it has plenty of nerve-wrecking moments and conflicts to hold one’s attention and interest. There is great sacrifice and a few upsetting events (at least two quite irrevocable sufferings) toward the end of the tale, justifiably depicted. I cried, laughed, and gasped with terror, during the great theatrical scene that Mama staged to save their neighbors. Knowing that the story is inspired by family histories and relatives of the author I bought the story even more.

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