In short, chronological chapters, two-time National Book Award–finalist McCormick (Never Fall Down) recounts the life of theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his efforts to alert the world to the horrors of Hitler’s Germany, and his conversion from pacifism to would-be assassin in a failed effort to overthrow the dictator. In this carefully researched work, McCormick synthesizes complex realities, documenting the gradual capitulation of the German church to Hitler’s vision of the “Reichskirche,” in which the swastika replaced the cross; the resistance of the Pastors’ Emergency League; and the apathy of European ministers, who refused to “take a stand against Hitler.” Chapters open by drawing readers into Bonhoeffer’s personal story (“The doorbell rang, and the parlor maid at the Bonhoeffer home hurried to answer it”) and close with hooks indicating his larger historical role (“The young pastor had become a double agent”). Photographs and inset sidebars provide supplementary historical information. Without oversimplifying, McCormick offers a lucid history of the rise of Nazi Germany and a dramatic account of one man’s resistance to evil. Ages 8–up. Agent: Heather Schroder, Compass Talent. (Sept.)■
Reviewed on: 06/13/2016 Release date: 09/13/2016 Genre: Children's
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