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Hitler's Canary
Cover of Hitler's Canary
Hitler's Canary
A Daring Tale of Wartime Adventure
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"My brother stood up so quickly he almost knocked Mama over. 'Why aren't you doing something? Do you know what the British are calling us? Hitler's canary! I've heard it on the radio, on the BBC. They...
"My brother stood up so quickly he almost knocked Mama over. 'Why aren't you doing something? Do you know what the British are calling us? Hitler's canary! I've heard it on the radio, on the BBC. They...
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Description-

  • "My brother stood up so quickly he almost knocked Mama over. 'Why aren't you doing something? Do you know what the British are calling us? Hitler's canary! I've heard it on the radio, on the BBC. They say he has us in a cage and we just sit and sing any tune he wants.'"

    Bamse's family are theater people. They don't get involved in politics. "it had nothing to do with us," Bamse tells us. Yet now he must decide: should he take his father's advice and not stir up trouble? Or should he follow his brother into the Resistance and take part in the most demanding role of his life?

About the Author-

  • Sandi Toksvig's theater credits include seasons with the New Shakespeare Company at Regents Park. Her TV credits include various news shows, and she is now the host of "The News Quiz" in London. The author of thirteen books for children and adults, including Hitler's Canary, Sandi has regular columns in the Sunday Telegraph and Good Housekeeping.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 12, 2007
    In this insightful novel, Toksvig offers a unique glimpse of WWII, writing from the perspective of a 10-year-old Danish boy forced to grow up quickly. Bamse, the son of a famous stage actress and a talented set designer, has "lived in a make-believe world" until the spring of 1940 when Germany invades his country. In Copenhagen, Nazi soldiers now rule the streets, and native Danes begin to fear for their safety. Some, like Bamse's mother and father, try to keep a low profile in order to keep their loved ones safe. Others, like the boy's 16-year-old brother, refuse to act like "Hitler's Canary," and wish to take a stand against the invaders. When rumors spread that Jews are being taken from their homes, Bamse's entire family takes part in a resistance movement, hiding Jewish friends and later helping them escape. Based on true stories handed down to the author by her father, Toksvis's tale of courage in the face of tyranny sheds light on the difficult choices facing the Danish people and pays tribute to resisters (including some compassionate Germans), who make enormous sacrifices in order to save others' lives. Through the boy's narrative, readers witness his loss of innocence ("I knew my Danish history from school: for the first time in nine hundred years my homeland... was not free and independent"). The author thus brings to life the tensions in Denmark at a time when "it wasn't always easy to tell the difference" between the "good" and "bad" people. Ages 11-up. (Mar.)
    Agent: Nancy Gallt Literary Agency.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2007
    Gr 5-7-When Nazi invasion brings a restrictive dictatorship to the fair and free-thinking Danes, Bamse's theatrical family chooses to ignore the increasingly dangerous circumstances in the hope that their gentile family and thespian lifestyle will not be affected. Older brother Orlando sees the writing on the wall and joins the Resistance while Uncle Johann sides with the Nazi sympathizers, hoping for survival through cooperation. Caught in a cage between the British and German fighting, Denmark is dubbed "Hitler's Canary." The increasing number of arrests and likely deportation of all Danish Jews force the Skovlunds to come to terms with reality. Bamse and his Jewish friend Anton begin to work secretly alongside Orlando until Anton's family is forced into hiding. Bamse's political-cartoonist father loses his job and his famous stage-actress mother makes good use of her acting talent to create an effective diversion for the Gestapo searching their home. Through the voice of 12-year-old Bamse, Toksvig mixes in a sardonic humor that adds spice and comic relief to a story about a very perilous and frightening time. Drawing on real events and the experiences of her family, she re-creates an episode in history when many citizens willingly put their lives at risk to participate in the 10-day rescue of the Danish Jews during the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays of 1943. In total, close to 7200 Jews and 689 non-Jews escaped to Sweden. Readable, intriguing, and realistic, with a good epilogue and author's note appended."Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI"

    Copyright 2007 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Roaring Brook Press
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Hitler's Canary
Hitler's Canary
A Daring Tale of Wartime Adventure
Sandi Toksvig
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