Just finished our first read aloud of the school year. The kids gave it a thumbs up. The Watcher by Joan Harlow is about a young teen girl that is unexpectedly relocated from America to World War II Berlin, Germany with her Natzi spy mother. The book details her escape and journey back to adoptive parents in America. Bonus: Sophie becomes friends with a Bibleforscher and gets a first hand look at Christian persecution during WW2.
Rabbit trails of learning included: Lebensborn, Bibelforscher, Hitler Youth, Nuremberg Laws, White Rose Resistance, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland, Berlin and Munich.
The 2006 film Sophie Scholl – The Final Days was an excellent companion film to watch. Sophie Scholl was a real hero that gave her life helping those that resisted Natzi Germany. We viewed the film at the first mention of the White Rose Resistance in the book and it helped my kids recognize many of the historical details throughout the remainder of the story. The film does have sub-titles and will require a fast reader with a flare for voice over work to keep it interesting. The film was available for free using TUBI but could be purchased on other applications for $3.99. For reference: my kiddos still at home are 11 and the movie held their attention and afforded the opportunity for great discussion. Bonus: Sophie is a Christian.
Many of the other topics introduced in this book were easily defined and discussed with the help of various short Youtube videos. There are several foreign films with subtitles highlighting the Lebensborn facilities but my kiddos wanted to move on to something else. If you watch any of them, let me know what you think. Note: The book details Lebensborn facilities as the main character “volunteers” to work as a caregiver in a fictitious Lebensborn facility in Berlin.