Heinz Schultz's word could send a man to prison. Though only a youth of 15, he was strong, tall, and blond. The boys in his Deutsches Jungvolk unit esteemed him and feared him.
And they wanted to be just like him.
Emil Radle wanted to be just like him.
A dedicated member of Hitler Youth, Emil was loyal to the Fuehrer before family, a champion for the cause and a fan of the famous Luftwaffe air force.
Emil's friends Moritz and Johann discover a shortwave radio and everything changes. Now they listen to the forbidden BBC broadcast of news reports that tell both sides. Now they know the truth.
The boys along with Johann's sister Katharina, band together to write out the reports and covertly distribute flyers through their city. It's an act of high treason that could have them arrested - or worse.
As the war progresses, so does Emil's affection for Katharina. He'd do anything to have a normal life and to stay in Passau by her side. But when Germany's losses become immense, even their greatest resistance can't prevent the boys from being sent to the Eastern Front.
©2012 Lee Strauss (P)2015 Lee Strauss
I've been a book lover ever since I found my first library in Broken Bow, OK. I was just 5 years old, but I lived 2 blocks away. Now I'm 62!
I read Playing with Matches 2 years ago and just recently received an advanced copy of the audiobook. It was such a great opportunity to hear the accents for the German characters. It made me more aware of the main characters' young ages.
I was once again convinced that wars are the worst solutions for political disagreements. It is the poorest people who pay the highest price for wars. Thank you, Lee Strauss, for writing such an amazing story about World War II. Also thanks to Bruce Wiebe for the touching narration.
I usually don't read books that happen during World War II because I get too upset. I decided to try this one with the main character was a young boy who at first wanted to be one of Hitler's youth but changes occur. This book is different in that we see things from a German family. What do they think about this evil trying to take over the world? What do they do to survive? What does the young boy do. I have a friend whose family was from East Germany and I learned many things I had no idea of. I really enjoyed listening to this book, hearing about the people left in Germany. It's never enjoyable to think about what happened during this time period but this book was enlightening since it showed how hard it was to be German at the time also.
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