The Boys Who Challenged Hitler

In YA Book Reviews on July 14, 2015 at 9:22 pm


by Phillip Hoose

YA Non-Fiction/©2015/208 Pages/Recommended for Ages 12-18

Publisher’s Blurb (Courtesy of Goodreads):

At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation’s leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys’ exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phil Hoose’s inspiring story of these young war heroes.

My Thoughts:

“April 9, 1940. It was a breakfast like any other until the dishes started to rattle.” So begins Phillip Hoose’s amazing book about the school boys who played a vital part in WW II. It is quite the page turner as you read about their exploits which included stealing firearms from under the noses of German soldiers, sabotaging their trucks, and just generally wreaking havoc for the German troops. It is quite the adventure story, and you almost forget that it is all true and based on the facts the author gleaned from one of the surviving school boys of The Churchill Club. It was their actions that were the first show of resistance from the Danes when the Nazis moved into their country. And it was these actions by these school boys that motivated their fellow Danes to perform epic resistance efforts of their own against the Nazis – the most famous of which was rescuing over 7000 Danish Jews by hiding them in their homes and then getting them safely to neutral Sweden just before the Nazis could round them up and deport them to concentration camps for execution. This is definitely a story that deserves to be told.

My Rating: 4/5

Other Thoughts and Resources:

D-Day 70th Anniversary: 10 Noteworthy World War II Books 


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