Thanks to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at Kidlit Frenzy, those who link up share wonderful non-fiction picture books. I am grateful for all that I've learned through reading non-fiction picture books.
I was so excited to read that this book by Russell Freedman has been short-listed for the Kirkus Prize, and that it beautifully tells the story of The White Rose Student Resistance Movement. I have read other accounts of the courage of these students, particularly the Scholl family, but not as detailed as this one, researched well with direct quotes and photographs documented. Robert Scholl and his wife had five children - Hans, Sophie, Inge, Elisabeth and Werner - all of whom eventually joined the Nazi youth groups that were so enticing, despite their parents advising against them. Clearly the parents and their wider family group were skeptical of Hitler’s ideas and wanted no part of them. The story tells of Hans and Sophie’s eventual disenchantment that led to an underground group, The White Rose, that wrote, copied and distributed hundreds of anti-Nazi messages across Germany, exhorting others to join the fight against Hitler and his Nazis. Photographs chosen to tell this story slowly show the frightening tale of a society gone mad.
There’s plenty of back matter that supports the written book, a list of sources, picture credits, an index and one picture of the museum in memory of those who fought in secret so valiantly. Sophie and Hans were both caught and be-headed; a punishment for traitors during that time, but in a last meeting with parents, Sophie said, “We will make waves.” And they have, continue to be considered those in the names of legendary heroes of World War II. The book is not long, but will serve as a good start to those who want to do additional research into the resistance efforts during that war.