Thursday, December 1, 2016

Book Review: The Plot to Kill Hitler by Patricia McCormick

The Plot to Kill Hitler by Patricia McCormick book cover and review
The Plot to Kill Hitler by Patricia McCormick is a nonfiction account of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was part of a group of men, reaching to the top of Hitler's ranks, that were determined that the only way to save their country was to kill Hitler.

Bonhoeffer was one of eight children who, save for the one that died in World War I, were all part of the conspiracy to kill Hitler. Or, in the case of the girls, their husbands were involved.  Dietrich was an unlikely candidate, given he was a very devout pastor and committed to nonviolence.

As we know, all of their attempts (and there were several) were unsuccessful, and the lives of most of these men ended with horrible deaths because of their involvement.

What is most interesting about the story is the portrayal of the time leading up to the war.  McCormick does a great job of explaining how a man like Hitler was able to gain such absolute power.  He not only took over the government, but was able to get most of the clergy to let him take over the church!  During the time before the war, he slowly eeked away at personal freedoms, not only targeting the Jews, but every citizen of Germany. Hitler did a great job of keeping the inner workings of his government from the rest of the world.

The actual attempts on Hitler's life were sort of anticlimactic after the captivating build up of the tension, both at a national level and a personal level for Bonhoeffer.

We have purchased a class set of The Plot to Kill Hitler for our WWII Literature class.  The teacher found it to be such a great introduction to the war that she can use it and save significant time in class.

The Plot to Kill Hitler is easy to read.  The chapters are very short, and the book is short. Part of the formatting uses boxes of additional explanations about something mentioned in the text.  There are numerous pictures that add to the story. Even though it is accessible to grade school students, The Plot to Kill Hitler is a fascinating account that will appeal to anyone who is interested in history.

Published by Balzer + Bray, September 13, 2016
Copy obtained from the library (eARC also obtained from Edelweiss)
153 pages

Rating: 5/5

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1 comment:

  1. Ok. Gonna read this one really soon! I love Patricia McCormick's books and my Master's work was on the Holocaust so this one is a must for me. Thank you for the great review!


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