What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Lisa Elliott of Tigard Public Library.
As Hitler rose in power and embarked on a mission to take over Europe and wipe out any people that did not fit the “Aryan ideal,” one group of college students risked their lives to create an underground grassroots movement of resistance, to unify those Germans that did not believe in the Fuhrer, but were too afraid to raise their voices in protest. And rightfully so: If they did, they would most likely be jailed or killed.
Siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl were loyal members of the Hitler Youth when they were young, but as they got older they could no longer stomach being required to love their so-called leader without question. As college students, they began to hear rumors of horrific acts committed by the Nazi regime, and they could no longer be silent. Through an underground network of like-minded people, they began to spread the revolutionary word of the White Rose movement through pamphlets reporting secret Nazi atrocities and calling for all citizens to stand up against hate and repression.
Before Hans and Sophie raised their brave, revolutionary voices, and before they were caught for doing so, they were kids, growing up during the rise of the Third Reich, when Germany seemed headed towards a time of prosperity and power, not brutality and loss. You may wonder how Hitler was allowed to remain in power after his tyranny was out in the open. This book chronicles that rise from the perspective of the citizens that felt powerless to stop the Third Reich, and a handful of young people that found a way to say “No, this is not who we are, this is not the Germany we know.”