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Just as the Nazis are rising to power, Helmuth Hubener, a German schoolboy, is caught up in all the swashbuckling bravado of his time.The handsome storm trooper uniforms, the shiny jackboots and armbands, the rousing patriotism, all serve to draw him into this bright new world full of promise and hope. In the beginning, Helmuth's patriotism is unwavering. But every day the rights of people all over Germany are diminishing. Jews are threatened and their businesses are being destroyed, the truth has been censored, and danger lurks everywhere. Anybody can turn on you. The world has turned upside down: Patriotism means denouncing others, love means to hate and speaking out means treason. Silence becomes everyone's guilty secret. How much longer can Helmuth keep silent? Now Helmuth sits in a German prison, awaiting his precarious fate. Told in flashback with breathtaking suspense, this homage to an extraordinary real-life hero magnificently explores one person's responsibility to humanity, freedom and truth.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of many books, both fiction and nonfiction, for children. Her fiction includes the novels THE BOY WHO DARED, Dear America: A COAL MINER'S BRIDE, and NO MAN'S LAND, as well as a number of picture books. She won the Newbery Honor for her nonfiction book HITLER'S YOUTH. A former eighth-grade teacher for eighteen years, Bartoletti now writes full-time and lives in Pennsylvania with her family.