Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
For young readers who may just be learning about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, Freedman provides a compelling and accessible but not graphically violent introduction to those times. The White Rose leaflets were printed on a mimeograph machine, which may provide a teachable moment for readers who have never written anything that couldn’t be instantaneously printed out or emailed. There is a bibliography of books and films about the White Rose
That those who resist evil with non-violence can be as courageous as those who take up arms. The courage and sacrifice of the White Rose members has not been forgotten, their legacy lives on in hundreds of German schools named in their honor and the dozens of books that have been written about them. A square at Munich University has been named for Sophie and Hans Scholl and the German movie “Sophie Scholl – The Final Days” was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2005.
Positive Role Models
Sophie and Hans Scholl and their friends showed enormous courage in the face of unspeakable evil. When arrested and tried neither Sophie or Hans would betray their friends or repudiate their beliefs.
Violence & Scariness
While violence and the threat of violence is a constant undercurrent in We Will Not Be Silent, author Freedman manages to convey the terror of the times without graphically describing events of those years: the deportation of Jews, forced labor camps, the program to kill people deemed disabled, and the trial, torture, and imprisonment of anyone who dared to oppose the Nazis. Although not written about in detail, the executions of Sophie and Hans by guillotine may be greatly disturbing to some readers.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Russell Freedman’s We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler is the story of a group of university students who wrote and secretly distributed thousands of leaflets urging the German people to resist the Nazi regime. Although it's a short read (only 112 pages), the story is emotionally intense as the White Rose members continually put their lives in danger. Dozens of archival photos may make even reluctant readers want to explore the text and learn more about the story. While violence and the threat of violence is a constant undercurrent, it is never graphically described. But some readers, especially younger ones, may be disturbed that the students they come to know in the book will be arrested and executed by guillotine. Freedman’s awards and honors include the Newberry Medal, three Newberry Honors, the Sibert Medal, and a National Humanities Medal.
Is It Any Good?
A heart-stopping true story and inspiring characters make this a must-read lesson in courage, friendship, and the power of the written word. The wealth of photos in WE WILL NOT BE SILENT -- of Sophie, Hans, their family members, and other White Rose members; the spot at Munich University where Sophie and Hans were arrested; defendants at the Nazi’s infamous People’s Court; and the prison where Sophie and Hans were executed -- give a sense of immediacy to the text.
Freedman’s easy, accessible prose style makes it an equally compelling read for both younger and teen readers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.