Monday, December 5, 2011

The Auslander by Paul Dowswell

When Peter's parents are killed during World War II he is sent to an orphanage in Poland. But even though Peter is Polish, he looks just like the Aryan boys on the Nazi posters with blonde hair and blue eyes. The Nazis decide to integrate him into their society and Peter is adopted by a German family. At first Peter is happy that he has been rescued from the orphanage and is living with such an important family - his new "father" is a high-ranking scientist. Before long, however, Peter begins to question the Nazi techniques as well as their ethics. But Peter has also learned that is is very dangerous to say anything bad about the Nazis and that you can't trust anyone. This book accurately portrays the climate of fear in Germany during World War II and presents some atrocities not normally shown such as the experiments on children and the disabled. Although those sections were interesting I found that the book moved slowly overall so I have my doubts about whether students would keep reading.

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