Rummanah Aasi

I am honored to participate in the blog tour for Deborah Hopinson's latest nonfiction title, Courage and Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark. Many thanks to Provato Events for inviting me on the blog tour and to Scholastic for providing me an advanced reader's copy of the book.

Description: When the Nazis invaded Denmark on Tuesday, April 9, 1940, the people of this tiny country to the north of Germany awoke to a devastating surprise. The government of Denmark surrendered quietly, and the Danes were ordered to go about their daily lives as if nothing had changed. But everything had changed.
   Award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson traces the stories of the heroic young men and women who would not stand by as their country was occupied by a dangerous enemy. Rather, they fought back. Some were spies, passing tactical information to the British; some were saboteurs, who aimed to hamper and impede Nazi operations in Denmark; and 95% of the Jewish population of Denmark were survivors, rescued by their fellow countrymen, who had the courage and conscience that drove them to act.

Review: Courage and Defiance may seem like yet another World War II book at first glance, however; its focus is not on the plight of the Jews in Germany nor the rise and fall of the Nazis but rather the Danish Resistance movement in Denmark. Before reading this book, I had very little knowledge of the Danish Resistance and it did not take me long until I found myself fully immersed in this book. I learned quite a lot from this book, which is always a good sign for a well written nonfiction title.  
 Hopkinson explores the exciting and true story about ordinary people who put their lives on the line in order to take stand on a belief they strongly felt was wrong and to save their country from Nazi control. Thoroughly researched narrative nonfiction, Courage and Defiance zeroes in on several people who held various jobs in the Danish Resistance such as Niels Skov, a saboteur who set fire to the Nazi vehicles, Tommy Sneum who secretly photographed German radar equipment and then flew a plane to England with the evidence in order to warn the British Allies, and many others who joined the resistance in a nonviolent way by illegally publishing Frit Danmark, a publication that called on citizens to take action and resist the German occupation.
  There were many times I was on the edge of my seat in fear that the Danish Resisters would be caught by the Nazis. Some were indeed caught and killed, while others miraculously survived. Though I really enjoyed learning about various people from the movement, I did have a bit of a hard time remembering who was who as the figures came and went. Thankfully, there is a list of people provided in the back of the book that I could use as a reference. The book also contains a detailed bibliography of titles that are suitable for young readers and young adults as well as sources with a higher reading level. In addition to the bibliography there is also a map, a timeline, black and white illustrations that made history come alive, as well as a Danish pronunciation guide. 
  Courage and Defiance is a great addition to the already abundant books on World War II. Though marketed for elementary school and middle school, I can see many ways how this book could also be used at a high school level. Readers interested in history, but also curious about spies and intrigue will find lots to enjoy in the book.

Curriculum Connection: Social Studies

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is discussion about the torture many have gone through in the concentration camps though not in graphic detail. Recommended for strong Grade 3 readers and up.

If you like this book try: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, Darkness Over Denmark: The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews by Ellen Levine, His Name was Raoul Wallenberg by Louise Borden or The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose,

 Be sure to follow the blog tour on the following blogs to read more reviews, guest posts as well as interviews with Deborah Hopkinson!

DateStop on TourBlog
September 4, 2015ReviewThe Nonfiction Detectives
September 5, 2015ReviewFrom Tots to Teens
September 6, 2015ReviewWelcome to Book Wonderland
September 7, 2015ReviewGeo Librarian
September 7, 2015InterviewLaurieAnnThompson
September 9, 2015InterviewHooray4Books
September 10, 2015InterviewGreatKidsBooks
September 11, 2015ReviewBooksInTheSpotlight
September 12, 2015ReviewThe Children's War
September 14, 2015InterviewProvatoEvents
September 16, 2015ReviewMichelle Edwards
September 25, 2015Guest PostingKirby Larson's Blog
4 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I can't say I know much about the Danish Resistance either Rummanah, so I think this would definitely be a fascinating read for me as well. Glad to know about the list of people in the back though, it's so nice to have that when there's a large cast of characters!

  2. Oh. OH! I really, really want to read this. I am still fascinated by everything WWII-related, but like you, I know very little about the Danish Resistance or really, the events in Denmark at all. I love that it was such a fascinating, tense read and that it kept you on the edge of your seat. A must read for sure.

  3. I would agree with your age cautions. I also think this would be a interesting read for me. In fact I know of another adult who would probably find this fascinating. Hm... might have to check this one out.

  4. Kindlemom Says:

    I don't have any knowledge of this either so I find this really interesting! This is one of my most favorite eras to read about because so much happens. Wonderful review and thanks for putting this on my radar!

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