White Rose

368p. bibliog. glossary. HMH/Versify. Apr. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781328594433.
RedReviewStarGr 7 Up—Sophie Scholl was a teen living in Germany as Hitler rose to power; this historical novel in verse is based on her life. As is expected of many young Germans at the time, Sophie joins Nazi youth groups. Over time, as she pays more attention to what is happening around her and learns of the slaughter of the Jewish population, she grows to despise the regime. She realizes being angry isn't enough and being silent makes her complicit. Fully understanding the risks, Sophie turns her outrage into activism. She joins the White Rose resistance, helping to create and distribute leaflets calling out the horrors of the regime. She and other members of the White Rose are caught, interrogated, tried, and, eventually, executed. This difficult, inspiring story is told effectively in verse; the language is spare but powerful. Many pieces of this narrative—demonizing a population, standing silently as people are mistreated, fighting against harmful policies—are timely and relevant. The back matter includes information about key players, a glossary, a list of primary and secondary sources in both English and German, and a helpful author's note giving more context to Sophie's story.
VERDICT This tale based on the real life of a young activist, supported by extensive back matter, belongs in all collections serving young teens.

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