Just as the Nazis are rising to power, Helmuth Hübener, a German schoolboy, is caught up in all the swashbuckling bravado of his time. The handsome stormtrooper uniforms, the shiny jackboots and armbands, the rousing patriotism all serve to draw him into this bright new world full of promise and hope. In the beginning his patriotism is unwavering. But every day the rights of people all over Germany are diminishing. Jews are threatened and their businesses are being destroyed. The truth has been censored, and danger lurks everywhere. Anybody can turn on you. The world has turned upside down: Patriotism means denouncing others, love means hate, and speaking out means treason. How much longer can Helmuth keep silent? Told in flashback, Newbery Honor Book author Susan Campbell Bartoletti magnificently explores the life of a heroic German youth who dared to stand up against the Nazi regime.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti encountered Helmuth Hubene's amazing story while writing Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler‚s Shadow. She was so moved by his heroic actions that she wanted to flesh out his story into a fictional form. She also wanted to provide a dramatic meditation on the meaning of his short life that raises questions about moral courage, nationalism, and the responsibility of the individual. Ms. Bartoletti is the author of many award-winning books for young people. She lives in Moscow, PA, with her husband. They have two children.