Sunday, July 08, 2007
Toksvig, Sandi. 2007. Hitler's Canary. (Originally published in Great Britain in 2005)
Hitler's Canary is the story of a family and country at war. Denmark has been invaded by the Germans, and now the Danes have a great choice to make: to accomodate the Nazis and make the best of a bad situation, or to protest the Nazis and all they stand for by whatever means--large or small--and organize themselves into an underground resistance.
This is my story. It is my story of when the war came to Denmark in 1940. The Second World War. I can't give you the whole picture of what happened; just what I saw and what people told me. There are hundreds of personal stories from that time, but this is not one in which all Germans were bad and all Danes were good. It didn't work that way. There were just some good people and some bad people and it wasn't always easy to tell the difference. (14)
Our narrator, Bamse (Teddy), is a young boy when the war starts (probably 11 or 12). This story is about his family: his father, his mother, his older brother, his older sister. And it is also about his friends--his Jewish friends. This story covers the years 1940-1943. It is a powerful story about how people can be changed by fear. But it is also a story about hope and courage.
Hitler's Canary is based on some of the stories the author's father told her about his own childhood. Although other parts of the story are fictionalized.
I highly recommend Hitler's Canary.