Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Teenagers Who Resisted the Nazis

K.R. Gaddy. Dutton, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-5255-5541-4
Gaddy’s debut draws from memoirs and extensive research to share the true stories of three teens in Nazi Germany. Gertrud, Jean, and Fritz were non-Jewish, fairly typical German teens, hanging out with groups known as Bündische Jugend (free-federated youth). The Nazis considered such groups far too tolerant and nonconforming, and as Hitler came to power, they were subjected to imprisonment and interrogation. The senseless brutality they witnessed prompted the Bündische to risk their lives in acts of rebellion, vandalism, and sabotage because “at least if they were fighting back against the Nazis, they might die doing something meaningful.” Despite awkward translations (for example, a foreman tells Fritz, “You are not bearable for the German people,” to express contempt) and frequent use of undefined German phrases, this compelling account conveys the profound brutality of Hitler’s Germany and how some children responded with acts of breathtaking bravery. Age 12–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/07/2019
Release date: 01/07/2020
Genre: Children's
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