"Book clubs will find a lot to discuss in Hilde’s story, and educators won’t need to work hard to generate conversations about equality, authoritarianism, and the role of minorities in democracy. The free-form verse is inviting and masterfully captures the mood and times in sparse poetry, making this work equally appealing for pleasure reading." —
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Wilson crafts a beautiful coming-of-age story that captures the joy of young independence against a backdrop of fear and foreboding on the precipice of the Third Reich. The story, as well as the author’s note and extensive resource list, highlights the positive, liberated experience of queer people in Weimar-era Berlin before its abrupt and devastating end...An essential purchase for YA collections; recommend to fans of
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo." — School Library Journal (starred review)
"This poignant verse novel packs its punches, allowing readers to feel the emotional highs and lows of the girl’s journey as she clings to a fraying thread of hope through impossibly hard times. Much like in Wilson’s
White Rose, the historical setting is exquisitely done, weaving in references to popular culture...and providing well-researched insights into the relative freedoms queer people experienced during the Weimar Republic. Hilde is impressively relatable to a modern audience...queer teens may glean comfort in her Café Lila found family—but everyone could stand to gain from Hilde’s resilience against the odds in an uncertain world." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“The language is as shiningly beautiful as the leading characters, Hilde and Rosa, and an absolute pleasure to read. A brilliant addition to the canon of LGBTQ young adult literature.” —
The Historical Novels Review, EDITOR’S CHOICE
"While Hilde’s predictable internal growth is disarmingly joyous, it’s the era’s politics—and their connection to the present day—that give the
Cabaret-tinged story its urgent momentum. Readers eager to learn more about queer life in the Weimar era will find plenty of avenues to explore in the densely packed author’s note." — Publishers Weekly
"This first-person novel in verse moves along briskly, judiciously weaving in bits of Hilde's past and historical events. Hilde is a relatable, accessible protagonist, and readers will respond to her feelings of being an outsider, celebrate her hard-won successes, and reel from a few gut-punching betrayals. Ultimately hopeful, this is a story of growth and affirmation set in an intriguing time and place." —
"This gorgeous book will put your heart in your throat and tears in your eyes, and keep you rooting for its heroines against all the odds." —
Sherri L. Smith, author of Flygirl and The Blossom and the Firefly
White Rose: ★ "[T]imely and relevant....This tale based on the real life of a young activist, supported by extensive back matter, belongs in all collections serving young teens." — School Library Journal (starred review)
White Rose: ★ "[M]oving and inspiring....this is a model of well-researched and riveting historical fiction." — Booklist (starred review)
White Rose: ★ "Real events made deeply personal in an intense, bone-chilling reading experience." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Wilson’s (White Rose, rev. 7/19) fluid free-verse novel aptly conveys the liberation and artistry of the time and place (Weimar Republic–era Berlin setting, in all its gritty, smoky glory), while also making the pages fly. Fans of Lo’s Last Night at the Telegraph Club (rev. 3/21) will enjoy this similarly themed work. Back matter includes an author’s note, selected sources, and a German glossary. by JENNIFER HUBERT SWAN —
The Horn Book
"This beautifully realized novel in verse succeeds on every level—as a work of historical fiction vividly bringing the past to life, as a love story, as a story about overcoming one’s personal fears, and as a work illuminating chilling parallels between early-1930s Germany and Western society today. It’s also a story that celebrates community and family—both blood and found." —
CCBC Choices 2023
White Rose: "Wilson does an exceptional job revealing Sophie’s inner thoughts and feelings....simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking."
White Rose: ★ "[M]oving and inspiring....this is a model of well-researched and riveting historical fiction."
Booklist (starred review)
"This gorgeous book will put your heart in your throat and tears in your eyes, and keep you rooting for its heroines against all the odds."
"Both heart-wrenching and inspiring, Sophie Scholl's story, as retold by Kip Wilson in
White Rose, is a stunning reminder to stand against evil, even when you stand alone. This is the kind of book that sticks in your heart long after you've finished. An incredible story of heroism incredibly told."
“I shiver. / How much has changed / in a week.” And we all shivered with her.
Recounting the months before Hitler’s rise to power in 1932, Catholic orphan Hilde, an 18-year-old resident of Berlin, documents her life in a series of free-verse poems. Her story begins as she leaves the orphanage and follows her through a brief period of homelessness and unemployment before she finds the Café Lila, a queer nightclub that ultimately provides employment, security, and a sense of community previously missing from Hilde’s life. It also brings her in contact with gorgeous Rosa, a Jewish performer and waitress with a vivacious attitude who quickly captures Hilde’s heart. Astute readers will understand what horrible fates await many of the characters but will be captivated by the events that Hilde observes, many of which still echo today. Book clubs will find a lot to discuss in Hilde’s story, and educators won’t need to work hard to generate conversations about equality, authoritarianism, and the role of minorities in democracy. The free-form verse is inviting and masterfully captures the mood and times in sparse poetry, making this work equally appealing for pleasure reading. Educators and history buffs will appreciate the thorough and informative backmatter, which includes selected sources in both English and German, a glossary of terms, and an author’s note that provides valuable context and recommends more information about the time period.
(Verse historical fiction. 12-adult)