Hitler's Daughter

( 12 )

Overview

Her name was Heidi, and she was Hitler's daughter.

It began on a rainy morning in Australia, as part of a game played by Mark and his friends. It was a storytelling game, and the four friends took turns weaving tales about fairies and mermaids and horses. But Anna's story was different this time: It was not a fairy tale or an adventure story. The story was about a young girl who lived during World War II. Her name was Heidi, and she was ...

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Hitler's Daughter

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Overview

Her name was Heidi, and she was Hitler's daughter.

It began on a rainy morning in Australia, as part of a game played by Mark and his friends. It was a storytelling game, and the four friends took turns weaving tales about fairies and mermaids and horses. But Anna's story was different this time: It was not a fairy tale or an adventure story. The story was about a young girl who lived during World War II. Her name was Heidi, and she was Hitler's daughter.

As Anna's story unfolds, Mark is haunted by the image of Hitler's daughter. He wonders what he would have done in her place if he had known his father was an evil man leading the world into a war that was destroying millions of lives. And if Mark had known, would he have had the power and determination to stop him?

This intriguing novel poses powerful questions about a frightening period in history and will force readers to examine moral issues in a fresh, compelling light.

After hearing a fictional tale about Hitler's daughter, Mark, an Australian boy, wonders what it would be like if someone he loved and trusted turned out to be evil.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A group of Australian children pass the time waiting for the school bus by telling stories. Anna is the best storyteller, and her newest tale is not only fascinating but also seems almost real, especially to ten-year-old Mark, who senses much more than just a fantasy. Could Hitler really have had a daughter, an imperfect child hidden away from the world, a little girl who loved her seldom-seen father and knew little, questioned nothing, he was doing on the outside? And did this mean that any child—Mark, for instance—shouldn't question a parent even if his family lived on land that originally belonged to Aborigines and somehow now was theirs? These two threads run simultaneously through this intriguing book for middle-graders, a well-written and believable invention that could really be true. Astute readers will pick up fairly early the implication that Anna has a personal involvement beyond just that of a storyteller, but the truth is kept hidden until the very end. This is a worthwhile book for both its story and the moral dilemmas it raises, and is courageous in leaving them for the reader to ponder rather than neatly solving them. 2003, HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 12.
— Judy Chernak
VOYA
A storytelling game on a rainy day at the bus stop turns quite thought provoking for Ben as his friend Anna weaves the tale of Hitler's secret daughter. Heidi lives with her caretaker in the country, and on occasion, Duffi, her father, gets time away to visit her. Heidi believes that her father keeps her hidden because of her lame leg and facial birthmark. She is completely ignorant of the war and its impact on her. As Anna's tale progresses, Ben finds that he has more and more questions about the evil of Hitler and why the German people supported a man who was killing so many innocents. As Anna prepares to end her story, the astute reader is left wondering whether the story she invented has some basis in truth. The issues French raises in this book are timely moral dilemmas relating to war and genocide. The Australian angle makes it even more interesting because after World War II, many survivors were sent there, adding some credence to the book's mysterious ending. Middle-level historical fiction or WWII buffs will enjoy Anna's story. Reluctant readers might appreciate the straightforward dialogue, and French's handling of the time shifts between the present and war time will not bother any level of reader. PLB
— Lynn Evarts <%ISBN%>0060086521
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-In order to amuse themselves while waiting for the school bus, a group of contemporary Australian children encourage their friend Anna to tell a story. "She always added details so you saw the story in your mind." But this time, the story has real characters in it. Anna imagines that Hitler had a daughter whom he kept hidden, because of a large birthmark on her face and a lame leg. Heidi, the imaginary child, leads a protected life during World War II with her governess. As the days go by, the story grows in power for 10-year-old Mark. He begins to wonder what it must have been like to have an evil father like Hitler, and he begins to question his own parents and the fact that they live on land that was originally occupied by Aborigines. The two stories proceed in tandem at an uneven pace. Heidi is the most interesting character. Mark is the only contemporary character developed in any depth, but his growing conflict with his parents and the ethical issues tossed up by the story are cut short and don't lead anywhere. For most of the book, it isn't clear how Anna knows enough to tell Heidi's story, complete with details of Berchtesgaden and Hitler's bunker. The answer to this question comes at the end. While affecting, it is also a letdown. The implication is that Anna's grandmother, who told her the story, was, or could have been, Hitler's daughter. While it is based on an interesting idea and could be used as a discussion starter, this novel is ultimately unsatisfying.-Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this intriguing story of what-if by an award-winning Australian writer, friends wait for their school bus during weeks of incessant rains as they listen to Anna relate the tale of Heidi, Hitler’s young daughter. While it starts as part of a storytelling game, Anna’s story takes on a compelling life as details of Heidi’s very privileged, very isolated life unfold. Initially the boys are excited about fighting and battles, but the view of war from Heidi’s perspective raises disturbing questions about genocide and children bearing responsibility for a parent’s guilt and vice versa. To the author’s credit, there are no easy answers given for this moral dilemma. Heidi survives the bunker in the closing days of WWII, sees her governess desert her, and joins a family who emigrate to Australia. Astute readers will realize well before the end that Anna’s story is not a made-up tale. In fact, it is her grandmother’s childhood. A fresh, well-told, and sobering story that needs a wide readership. (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060086527
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/29/2003
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 692,129
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 600L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Jackie French's writing career spans 15 years, 39 wombats, 120 books, 15 languages, and 28 shredded doormats (she blames the wombats). She is the author of Hitler's Daughter, which won the 2000 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award, and Diary of a Wombat, a 2003 Children's Book Council of Australia Honour Book. She lives in Australia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2006

    The most boring book I've ever read

    I've read a lot of books in my life, and this one is the most dull, slow-moving, get-it-over-with book I've ever read. The only interesting parts about it were the stories of Hitler's daughter, and those took up only half the book. The other half was about the main character pondering the story, wondering what it would be like to be Hitler's daughter, going through uneventful details about his life that, etc. I just wanted to skip over it all and get to the stories about Hitler's daughter, which weren't even that exciting. I am not easily bored by a book, and this one pretty much put me to sleep.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    boring

    It is not a good book. So dont read it

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Unfulfilled

    While the story overall was alright, it was boring. If another author did the same book it probably would have been better. The book had great potential to be very full and rich with information and detail, but instead it was extremely simple and felt like it was mostly written without any emotion at all. In short, very lacking of painting visual pictures, too simple, wasted potential.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Great book!

    I really loved the book. It was hard to put down so get it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2009

    I Love this book

    This book was awesome!!!!! I didnt want to put it down not once. at the end i was so suprised. I give 20 thumbs up to the author of this book. Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    Intreging

    I read this book a while ago, but I still remember how intreging it was. Normally, I don't read a book that is this simple to read but the title got my atention. A very well, written book about a child of Hitler's. One of the better books I've read and I read a lot of books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2013

     Hitler's Daughter. This is the next new story about her, Hitler

     Hitler's Daughter. This is the next new story about her, Hitler's Daughter is an really old story line. Back to
    World War II. Pictures of Hitler with a little girl, some people beleave her was his daughter. He said that he
    would like to have a daughter. A son would never be able to reach his glory. With that statement, books about
    the daughter of Hitler started showing up. I have read two books under the same name. And I have seen the
    movie yers ago, maybe back in 1983. I'm looking forword of reading this one and a new one that just came.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    You are wrong

    This message is to the people who think it is lame. You are lame

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    this book was ok

    yes i could put it down yes i could read it agian if i HAD to. but besides that this book was defnotlay not my faviorate S0RRY BAD SPELLING!
    anyways i do give that author a round of a plause!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2005

    Awesome book!!!

    I read this book for the virginia young reader program, and I couldn't put it down! I loved how it was a story inside a story. I totally recommend young adults to read this.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews

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