DANIEL HALF HUMAN AND THE GOOD NAZI

David Chotjewitz, Author DANIEL HALF HUMAN AND THE GOOD NAZI

Daniel Kraushaar, only child of a prominent Hamburg attorney, leads a cushy life compared to his best friend, Armin, a scholarship student at the boys' "elite Gymnasium." But as the Hitler regime's grip grows tighter, Daniel's parents are forced to tell him the truth: his mother is Jewish, making Daniel "half-human" in the Nazis' eyes. Armin begins to rise through the ranks of the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth), and the secret about Daniel's heritage leaks out, making him an outcast with everyone but Armin, who pledges his loyalty to his friend. Chotjewitz finely etches Daniel's journey from spoiled naïf to older-and-wiser teen. Since much of the drama derives from wondering how the Kraushaars will survive, the author undercuts the tension by opening with a prologue narrated by the adult Daniel in 1945, now a U.S. Army officer, as he walks through the ruins of his former home. The story then flashes back and forth from the 1930s to 1945, with the point of view shifting among Daniel, his parents and his cousin, Miriam. The structure demands a sophisticated reader. But the author intelligently presents the complexity of the dissent within the German population, as Hitler's ascension begins to look inevitable—especially well limned in the friendship between the titular boys, who grow up before readers' eyes. This absorbing family portrait is intimate despite its well-known historical backdrop; the stunning conclusion will spark debate not only about what happened but about the collision of duty and friendship. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/29/2004
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Children's
Mass Market Paperbound - 325 pages - 978-0-689-85748-5
Prebound-Other - 325 pages - 978-1-4177-4013-0
Prebound-Sewn - 325 pages - 978-0-7569-7039-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-35027-3
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-689-87295-2
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