Monday, August 24, 2015

MMGM- Courage & Defiance:

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Hopkinson, Deborah.  Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark
August 25th 2015 by Scholastic Press
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Nonfiction is hard for me to review. The combination of my lack of interest in WWII and the fact that I was reading an e galley of this that was loading very slowly makes it hard to put together my usual review, which is a shame, because this book was really good, and is an excellent purchase for middle school and high school libraries.

It is well laid out, with lots of pertinent pictures and plenty of white space. This is hugely important, especially with nonfiction books. The stories are interesting, and a LOT of different people and events are told about in an anecdotal fashion, with elucidating historical information in between the anecdotes. Students who are obsessed with WWII (and I haven't had as many recently, but I don't think we're seen the end of interest in this era yet) will eat this up. It's easier to get through than adult books on the topic, and offers more interesting information than the short, general interest nonfiction about the war. The in-depth discussion of different people and events will make this good for research projects as well.

Personally, I didn't find this as compelling a read as something like The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club, which followed a smaller cast of characters in a more story-like fashion. This is more along the lines of Rick Atkinson's The Battle of the Bulge.

Take a look and see what you think. As I said, I'm definitely buying a copy because it was a good book, but reading it was a huge slog for me personally!

"When the Nazis invaded Denmark on Tuesday, April 9, 1940, the people of this tiny country to the north of Germany awoke to a devastating surprise. The government of Denmark surrendered quietly, and the Danes were ordered to go about their daily lives as if nothing had changed.

But everything had changed. Award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson traces the stories of the heroic young men and women who would not stand by as their country was occupied by a dangerous enemy. Rather, they fought back. Some were spies, passing tactical information to the British; some were saboteurs, who aimed to hamper and impede Nazi operations in Denmark; and 95% of the Jewish population of Denmark were survivors, rescued by their fellow countrymen, who had the courage and conscience that drove them to act.

With her talent for digging deep in her research and weaving real voices into her narratives, Hopkinson reveals the thrilling truth behind one of WWII's most daring resistance movements."

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