Heinz Schultz’s word could send a man to prison. Though only a youth of fifteen, he was strong, tall, and blond. The boys in his Deutsches Jungvolk unit esteemed him and feared him. And they wanted to be just like him. Emil Radle wanted to be just like him.
A dedicated member of Hitler Youth, Emil was loyal to the Fuehrer before family, ...
Heinz Schultz’s word could send a man to prison. Though only a youth of fifteen, he was strong, tall, and blond. The boys in his Deutsches Jungvolk unit esteemed him and feared him.
And they wanted to be just like him.
Emil Radle wanted to be just like him.
A dedicated member of Hitler Youth, Emil was loyal to the Fuehrer before family, a champion for the cause and a fan of the famous Luftwaffe Air force.
Then one day the soldiers rounded up the Jews. Outlawed their music, burned their books. Still…it must be for the betterment of the Fatherland, right?
Emil’s friends Moritz and Johann discover a shortwave radio and everything changes. Now they listen to the forbidden BBC broadcast of news reports that tell both sides. Now they know the truth.
The boys along with Johann’s sister Katharina, band together to write out the reports and covertly distribute flyers through their city. It’s an act of high treason that could have them arrested—or worse.
As the war progresses, so does Emil’s affection for Katharina. He’d do anything to have a normal life and to stay in Passau by her side. But when Germany’s losses become immense, even their greatest resistance can’t prevent the boys from being sent to the Eastern Front.
This book is an extremely heartbreaking and realistic look at World War II from a different perspective, from someone in Hitler's Army that doesn't want to be there. We so often hear about the atrocities that fell on the Jewish, but there isn't as much literature about everyday life for the non-Jewish Germans, especially those that didn't agree with Hitler. Told from the perspective of a child growing into a young adult at the worst time possible, this is a great read for teens as well as adults
- Steven Davenport
One of the best YA books I've read in a long time, Playing with Matches grabs you from page one and whisks you back to 1938 Germany. It's rare that I get so engrossed in a story that I feel as if I'm actually there. I have always wondered what it must have been like for those citizens of Germany who knew something wasn't quite right. Using actual real-life stories from those who lived through it, Lee Strauss paints a bleak picture of fear and survival. Her characters seem real and jump right off
- Ace Quimby
This was a wonderful and yet terribly sad story about a boy in Germany who desperately wants to love his country and yet, as WWII begins and he sees the atrocities around him, he is forced to decide what is truly, morally right. And yet, even as he and his friends fight for what that believe in, he also learns about the simple struggle to survive. So many stories about WWII talk about the trials of the Allies. This book is about the trials of the Germans. But it is not sympathetic to the Nazis.
Lee Strauss writes romantic mixed genres set in the past, present and future for YA and adult readers. She also writes light and fun stuff as Elle Strauss. She divides her time between BC, Canada and Dresden, Germany, and enjoys drinking coffee and eating chocolate in both places.