Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura E. Williams

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It's 1942. Thirteen-year-old Korinna Rehme is an active member of her local Jungmadel, a Nazi youth group, along with many of her friends. She believes that Hitler is helping Germany by instituting a program to deal with what he calls the "Jewish problem," a program that she witnesses as her Jewish neighbors are attacked and taken from their homes. Korinna's parents, however, are members of a secret underground group providing a means of escape to the Jews of their city. Korinna is shocked to discover that they are hiding a refugee family behind the wall of her bedroom. But as she comes to know the family, her sympathies begin to turn. When someone tips off the Gestapo, loyalties are put to the test and Korinna must decide what she really believes and whom she really trusts. Filled with adventure, Behind the Bedroom Wall helps readers understand the forces that drove so many to turn on their neighbors and the courage that allowed some to resist.

About Laura E. Williams

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Laura Williams comes from a family of strong women, like Starshine. She is the author of several acclaimed novels including "The Ghost Stallion" and "Behind the Bedroom Wall," for which she received a Jane Addams Peace Award Honor. When she's not writing, Ms. Williams spends her time painting, drawing, and creating stained-glass. She lives in Avon, Ohio with her husband and two children. ERICA MAGNUS is the author-illustrator of several books for children, including Old Lars and The Boy and the Devil. She lives in Athens, Ohio.
Published September 1, 2010 by Milkweed Editions. 184 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Williams (The Long Silk Strand, 1995, etc.) has her young characters obediently repeating patriotic Nazi slogans and promises, but presents counterarguments more subtly, by simply showing the Gestapo's cruelty, Sophie's bitterness and exhaustion, Rachel's fear, and the general climate of repression.

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Publishers Weekly

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Melodrama substitutes for conflict in this heavy-handed novel set in Nazi Germany. At 13, Korinna Rehme is just like the other members of her girls' youth group: besotted with the Fuhrer (Hitler is

Jun 03 1996 | Read Full Review of Behind the Bedroom Wall

Publishers Weekly

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Neither subtlety nor insight plays a part in these proceedings: Williams doesn't suggest the attractions of the Hitler youth groups or allow for the range of attitudes within these groups, described so persuasively in such memoirs as Ilse Koehn's Mischling, Second Degree or Hans Peter Richter's I...

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When someone tips off the Gestapo that the family is harboring Jews, Korinna will have to decide where her loyalties lie, and then hope that her family makes it out alive.

Jan 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Behind the Bedroom Wall

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