Customer Reviews for

Children and Fire

Average Rating 3.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

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3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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  • Posted July 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not to be missed

    Thekla Janson is a young school teacher in Burgdorf, Germany during the early days of Hitler's rise to power. A caring and gifted teacher, she has a sweet disposition and finds something lovable in even the most annoying of her ten-year-old students. They, in turn, love her dearly.

    Janson has taken over the class from Ilse Abramowitz, a Jew. Janson revered her old teacher and thinks about her often, but doesn't visit, fearful of repercussions. She has no real affinity for the wave of patriotism permeating her country, yet encourages her students to become members of the "Hiltler Jugend" or Hitler Youth for the camaraderie and friendship. Thekla is aware of the dramatic changes in Germany, but adopts a "go along to get along" attitude and is able to hide her head in the sand and continue with life as she wants it to be, both for herself and her students.

    But there's so much more to this latest book from Hegi. Janson is just a symbol of how fear and propaganda, fomented by Hitler, eroded the moral fabric of Germany, one person or one child at a time. It's only when Janson discovers a secret in her own family that she begins to open her eyes and see the horrors for herself.

    A number of years ago I read STONES FROM THE RIVER by the same author. That book, like this one, stayed with me. Hegi has a quiet, intelligent and understated writing style, yet still manages to vividly convey the chilling reality of her characters' lives and the insidious erosion of family, freedom and humanity in the landscape of Nazi Germany. CHILDREN AND FIRE is another unforgettable book from Ursula Hegi, not to be missed. Lynn Kimmerle

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sometimes you're NOT just being paranoid

    This book shows how easy it is to let a terrible situation sneak up on you - in this case, Germany in the 1930s. The main character thinks she can "just wait for it to be over" in 1934. History tells us what happened after 1934. It's like the story about how to boil a frog - put it in a pot of cold water and it won't notice the water gradually heating up until it's too late. Is this book a good cautionary tale for our times, or what?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    If you would like some answers, good story to find out

    I have always wondered how the German people and Americans could swallow the supported changes into the following/leadership of Hitler. I could now understand how this happened. A warning to us, Americans, how gradually the lies and deciet can be brought into play. Very informative.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    An interesting take on the effects of the Nazi rise to power in Germany from the average German's possible life.

    I think this would be a perfect "book club" selection for discussion. It should be compared to the similarities in US's present economy and political stances. Definitely could be a great movie if the central character was carefully chosen.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    Beautifully Written

    If you liked Stones from the River, you'll like this. Hegi goes back to the fictional town of Burgdorf and brings more of the people to life. And she writes beautifully.

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    Posted May 28, 2011

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