An intriguing YA historical read…
Murphy weaves together an absorbing story of a youth group’s exhilarating journey as they launch dangerous rebellions against the brutal Nazi regime. Fifteen-year-old Karl and Horst hate the Nazi regime with vengeance. When the army recruits their fathers to fight, the boys leave their home, meet other teenagers like them, and form a gang, the Edelweiss Pirates. They all have the same determination: to live free of the Nazi rule. But Karl wants to do something worthwhile. When he meets Edith, a communist, he decides to join the latter’s organization, unaware his life will never be the same again. The novel beautifully sheds light on one of the anti-Nazi resistance groups in the 1930s and 1940s in Germany. Murphy sympathetically portrays a youth group’s struggle in one of the bloodiest periods in world history through third-person omniscient narrative. The characters are relatable, particularly Karl, whose voice is the right mix of adolescent innocence and passion, and his transformation into a determined young man passionate about his mission is believable. Based on the true story of The Edelweiss Pirates who opposed the way the Hitler Youth movement had taken over the lives of youths in Hitler’s Germany, the novel’s many historical details are nicely woven into the story, and a short afterword details the real historical facts. The prose is straightforward and the pacing hits some rough patches, leading to a few lulls in the story, but Murphy brings together all the threads nicely to drive home the point that anyone can stand up in the face of oppression; all they need is courage and resilience. An absorbing read.
Pub date November 5, 2021
Price $13.50 (USD) Hardcover, $6.99 Paperback, $0.00 Kindle edition