Synopses & Reviews
All his life, Daniel has been hiding. He just doesn't know it.
Until the spring of 1933, he's enjoyed a comfortable German boyhood with his
well-to-do family, in school, at soccer. Daniel's even enjoyed jail -- for one exciting night -- with his best friend, Armin, after they've been caught painting a swastika on a wall in the hated Communist section of Hamburg. In their cell, the boys cut their wrists, mingle blood, and swear lasting brotherhood. Then, a thunderclap: Daniel learns to his horror that his mother is Jewish, that he is therefore half-Jewish and, in Aryan eyes, half-human. Daniel keeps the truth a secret. He and Armin still talk of joining the Hitler Youth. But Armin's father, an out-of-work longshoreman and a Socialist, forbids it. Armin joins anyway, with fateful consequences for Daniel's family. Throughout World War II, and until the story's haunting final scene, each friend holds the life of the other in his hands.
"An outstanding addition to the large body of World War II/Holocaust fiction."andlt;BRandgt; -- andlt;iandgt;School Library Journalandlt;/iandgt;
"No book stages Kristallnacht more chillingly."
-- The Horn Book
"No book stages Kristallnacht more chillingly."andlt;BRandgt; -- andlt;iandgt;The Horn Bookandlt;/i andlt;BRandgt; andgt;
At the dawn of Hitler's rise to power in Germany in 1933 and a period of the most brutal, aggressive anti-Semitism the world has ever seen, two boys swear eternal brotherhood by slitting their wrists and mingling their blood. Having experienced so much together, even a night in jail after painting a swastika on a wall in the hated Communist section of Hamburg, Daniel and Armin had become the best of friends. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; But then, with the scar on his wrist still healing, Daniel receives some life-altering news: He is half-Jewish, and as such, half-hated by a growing number of neighbors, teachers, and friends. Quickly, he decides to keep his identity a secret, conspiring with Armin to join the Hitler Youth -- but only one of them can, and will, join, with terrible consequences.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;David Chotjewitzandlt;/bandgt; is a teacher and playwright. He lives with his daughter in Hamburg, Germany, where, in 2000, this book was published to acclaim.andlt;bandgt;Doris Orgelandlt;/bandgt;'s own novel of the Nazi period, andlt;Iandgt;The Devil in Vienne,andlt;/iandgt; is considered a classic. She has translated many books from German, including a recent volume of the Grimm fairy tales. She lives in New York City.