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The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler — 7 Comments

  1. This book, about a man deciding if he should put his faith before his country and whether or not to kill someone for the greater good, would appeal to many of my students. The colors in the book were meaningful and significant as well. I do think this is for the stronger reader, as it may be hard for some kiddos to follow. Great book to be used in History/Social Studies. 4/5 stars.

  2. I don’t know if I enjoyed this book as it was not pleasurable, but I do appreciate having read it. When I started reading this book I simply wasn’t in the mood to read about the darker parts of our history like war and genocide. However, I was curious to learn more about how trusted people of Hitler would be able to plot his demise. I did learn a lot from this book. Much of my knowledge of World War II is surface-level summaries of the sequence of events from history books or as it relates to the Jewish experience. I appreciated that this book gave me another viewpoint. Hendrix’s writing about Hitler was quite chilling, and it was interesting to learn more about the resistance, especially from a very unexpected character like a pastor and theologian. The text, although quite graphic, was engaging, and the illustrations were stunning and complementary.

    I don’t think I would recommend this book to children in this age group. On an absolute level, the text was pretty complex and I think it’s above most readers of this age. On another level, the content of this book, although an accurate portrayal of the time, is gruesome and haunting. I think it extends well above the maturity level of children in grades 4-5. I do think this book does have merit to be used with older students though. I think it could be especially valuable in studying different vantage points of the same event by using it along with other books on World War II. I know for me it greatly expanded my understanding of how all of the different mechanisms of the war were related. One could also do a pretty in-depth character study of Dietrich to analyze his values, internal struggle, and change over time.

    Overall score: 5/5

  3. I really enjoyed this book – it was very interesting and I appreciated the format. I liked reading about the history and how it connected with the story. I probably wouldn’t get this book for my classroom as I felt the content was too old for upper elementary students, but I could see this book potentially being a good book for a high school class. Overall, I would rate this book 5/5 stars.

  4. I read this book in a day, and LOVED it. I would have never thought of myself as a nonfiction reader, but this was great! I will book talk this one with my 4th graders. I will not read it aloud, but will recommend to anyone interested in WWII history that this is a great read. I agree with a previous post that sometimes the type and colors were difficult to read, and the vocabulary is tough.

    What I really loved about this book is how it teaches courage and how far people are willing to go to stand up for what is decent and right. Huge theme story here.
    5 stars!!

  5. This book would never be one that I would choose to read, and I wish I could say I was pleasantly surprised when I did. The way that it is written, more like a graphic novel, will likely make this topic more appealing to young readers. I found the font size, color, and type difficult to read at times, but that could be my old eyes! I think that some of the vocabulary would be above a lot of readers at this age. Also, over half of the book was spent on the background and buildup of the story and I’m not sure young readers would stick with it long enough to get to the good part. If this is a topic of interest for students, maybe a pleasure read or as a tie in with World War II discussions. Only 2 stars from me.

  6. I found The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler to be a surprisingly engrossing and ultimately touching book. It was a tremendous example of a person following a path they knew to be the right one regardless of the cost. The fact that it addressed a facet of history that has bothered me through the years was a bonus: the tolerance and ultimate support that Lutheran pastors gave Hitler. I enjoyed the graphic format of the book and felt that the art work enhanced the author’s text greatly. I was unsure if 4th or 5th graders would be interested in a book like this and said as much to my 20 year old son. He said, “I would have read it.” So there you go! I would definitely recommend this book to students interested in the events of this time period. I think it would be a good supplement to WWII curriculum used in the classroom. I am glad to have read it – 5 stars.

  7. The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler is a must read. This was a fascinating book. I couldn’t put it down. When I first opened the book I was not impressed with how it was laid out, it reminded me of a graphic novel. But once I got reading, it captivated me. I think how the book was laid out and the structure kept me more entertained and wanting to read, verses paragraph after paragraphs of informational text. This is definitely not a book I would have gravitated to, due to the subject matter. However I so glad I did.

    I would absolutely recommend this book as a pleasure read. I would also recommend this book to be used with a history curriculum of WWII. It does not go into gruesome details about the Holocaust. In fact Dietrich himself didn’t know the full extent of the horror to the Jewish people. I do think this book would be better suited for a middle school/ high school class. Much of the content is higher level reading. Make sure to read the Author’s Notes and the Research and Authenticity pages in the back of the book.

    I would rate this book a full 5 stars.