Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hitler's Canary by Sandi Toksvig

Author: Sandi Toksvig
ISBN # 0440866626
Publisher: Corgi Yearling
First Published: 2005
300 pages

It's April 1940 and German troops are pouring onto the streets of Denmark. 12-year-old Bamse is ordered by his father to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But Bamse and his daring friend Anton can't resist playing the occasional practical joke on the invading soldiers. When it becomes clear that the trouble isn't just going to pass them by, the people of Denmark decide to take action and Bamse and his eccentric family are about to take part in one of history's most dramatic rescues - smuggling Denmark's Jewish population, across the water to Sweden, and safety. Many of the characters are based on Sandi's own family, including her father, Bamse, and the book was inspired by the stories he told to her.

World War II has been the focus of many books, both fact and historical fiction, but the story of what happened in Denmark is often, sadly, neglected and in Hitler’s Canary, comedienne Sandi Toksvig and tackled a difficult subject and brought the bravery of the Danish people to the forefront as Bamse’s family and friends work together (and sometimes against each other) during the German occupation of their country. Based on stories told to Toksvig by her father, this story has a very personal feel to it and the characters will quietly work their way into the heart of any reader who picks up this book. The horror of war and the persecution of an entire people is not diminished, but her approach is subtle and this story is filled with daring tales of amazing courage that are funny and exciting as well as incredibly moving.

This is one not to be missed!

Rating: 8

2 Comments:

Blogger Kailana said...

Yay, a new blog for me to read. This book sounds interesting. I will have to go through your archives very well soon. :)

3:25 pm  
Blogger booklogged said...

This book catches my interest because I have Danish ancestry. I enjoyed Lois Lowry's 'Number the Stars', which I'm sure is not as dramatic as this book, but I see similarities. I'll be adding this one to my list. Thanks for the good review.

2:33 am  

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