Monday, May 10, 2010

Behind the Bedroom Wall

Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura E. Williams is an unusual fictional account of the Holocaust. It is unusual because the main character is a young German girl who is a member of the Hitler Youth Group. She, like many Germans, believed that Hitler was telling the truth about how he planned to lift up the German nation. She thought he was right about the Jewish people. This is certainly a different perspective than found in most Holocaust books.

Korinna Rehme is a 13 year old German girl who lives with her mother and father. She and her girlfriends belong to the Jungmadel, a Nazi Youth group for girls. Although their meetings are fun, the girls are taught Nazi rhetoric and trained to turn in anyone who does not comply with Nazi ideology. Korinna believes that she should be a loyal Nazi until something happens in her life that causes her to question everything. She finds out that there are Jews living behind her bedroom wall. At first, Korinna believes she should turn her parents in, but over time she learns that the mother and daughter living in hiding in her wall are people just like her family. Soon Korinna finds that she and her family must also hide.

The struggles of the young girl are often palpable in the book. I found myself hoping Korinna would make the right decisions. I think today's young people will identify with Korinna on many levels.

Here is a very nice teacher's guide for the book. The guide includes chapter by chapter lessons and vocabulary words.

TITLE: Behind the Bedroom Wall
AUTHOR: Laura E. Williams
ILLUSTRATOR: A. Nancy Goldstein
COPYRIGHT: 1996
PAGES: 169
TYPE: Holocaust literature
AWARDS: Numerous state book awards
RECOMMEND: This story is seen from the eyes of a young German girl, so the focus is a little different than normal. Certainly a topic of interest to young people.


1 comment:

Shaynie said...

I read this book sometime last year, but I was disappointed in it. Although a very unique story, it seemed to lack emotion and feeling.