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Behind The Bedroom Wall (1996)

Behind the Bedroom Wall (1996)
3.95 of 5 Votes: 5
157131606X (ISBN13: 9781571316066)
milkweed editions
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Behind The Bedroom Wall (1996)
Behind The Bedroom Wall (1996)

About book: This is a story set in Nazi Germany just at the onset of the Holocaust. It is about a 13-year-old German girl Korrina, who is a member of a youth Nazi group Jungmadel. Korrina accepts her society’s views about Jews and supports Hitler’s program to solve the “Jewish problem,” even as she sees her Jewish neighbors being taken away. At home, Korrina often hears noises behind the wall, but her father reassures her it’s the mice and buys her a cat. However, one day she discovers that her parents have, in fact, been hiding a Jewish family (mother and daughter) in their closet. At first she is confused, thinking her parents are traitors and wondering if she should tell someone. However, she befriends the family and, upon hearing their story, realizes that all the bad things she had been hearing about Jews were wrong. She comes to realize that these people were persecuted for no reason. Eventually, Korrina’s family comes under suspicion of Gestapo who search their house. After helping the Jewish family escape, Korrina’s family runs away as well. This book is an example of historical fiction because it is set in a historical period of WWII. Its main theme is a real event that happened in history (the Holocaust).I would recommend this book for upper elementary (grades 4-6), as a read aloud or for a literature circle. Lexile level is 660 and grade level equivalent is 4.8. Concepts to teach with this book include elements of story structure, main ideas and events, and comprehension strategies (prediction, inferences, connecting big ideas and details, citing textual evidence to support conclusions.) Korrina’s changing views about the Jewish people make this a good book to study character development. Students can compare and contrast her character with the character of her Nazi youth friend Rita who remains a zealous anti-Jew throughout the story. They can also look at similarities of Rachel (the Jewish girl) and Korrina, to evaluate what made their friendship possible in such circumstances.This book can be integrated with a social studies lesson on the Holocaust and WWII. It explores many relevant and serious themes: Holocaust, survival, discrimination, social prejudice vs. tolerance, human cruelty vs. kindness and compassion. I recommend it because it offers a different perspective, being told from the point of view of a girl who is in Nazi youth. Students can examine how this organization brainwashed the youth into accepting an ideology of hate. This book can generate valuable discussions with older students on social prejudice and pressure to conform to society’s views.

Plot Summary:The setting of this story is in Nazi Germany at the beginning of the Holocaust. Korrina is a proud German who is a member of the Fungmadel, which is a youth group for Nazi youth. She and her friends had been taught to make sweet buns, go on nature hikes, and spy on people that seemed un-German in any way. Korrina had recently told her Father that she thought she heard mice behind her bedroom wall. Her father reassured her that he would put out traps and even bought her a cat. To her dismay, one evening she heard the sounds again, of what she thought was mice. She went to move her dresser and found something she could not believe. Were her parents traitors? Should she turn them in? Should she tell someone? She found that people she thought were good, proud Germans were being arrested and sent to concentration camps. She is torn between what society has taught her is right, and the love she had for her family.Main Characters:Korrina: This is Korrina's story, she is an early teen who is being raised to look as "German" as possible in order for her and her family to survive during the beginning to middle of the rise of Nazi Germany. It is the story of her growing up, and learning to think for herself.Rita: Rita is Korrina's best friend along with Eva (who is not a really large main character). Rita's brother is a Nazi, who happens to be one of the Nazis that search homes. Rita and Korrina grow apart throughout the story.Key Issues: Holocaust, Survival, Discrimination, Cruelty, Love, Family Other Interesting Information:This was an interesting book to read because it is from the view of a Nazi. As a reader, you know what she is thinking is wrong in the beginning, and really start to connect to the character as she starts to change her mind about her current culture. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars because I did enjoy it, but I don't think it was as captivating as it could've been. I would not mind having it in my future classroom, but I don't know if I would enjoy teaching it.
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Trynity Ririe
This first person nararation about a girl named Korinna. The setting is in germany during the holocaust.This book has intense but not fully developed themes of love, death and also hatredto the jews. Korrinna is a german and very much hates Jews she says that they disgust her. The plot and setting is very credible and authentic. This style was not engaging.The author got advice from others well she was writing this book. The language is dark and sort of depressing but not authentic. Though te main charecter Korinna develops value and not as much hatred toward the Jews in the end.If you are looking for a holocoust book don't read this one it was very boring and for the most part plain. This book Behind the Bedroom Wall was written mostly for a fourth grader. So don't read this book unless you are a fourth grader.
Radha Sukhu
“Behind the Bedroom Wall” is a novel from the time period of World War II, in 1942. Korinna lives in Germany, and is an active member in Jungmadel, a Nazi organization for young girls. She fervently believes in aiding her homeland by ridding it of Jews, and praises Hitler. She believes her parents are the same way, until she discovers a little Jewish girl named Rachel and her mother hiding behind the wardrobe in her room. Stuck between her love for her parents and her loyalty to Hitler, she must make a decision before their secret is discovered. The main aspect of this novel is the character of Katarina. She is so young, but has already been brainwashed by the Nazis to believe that Jews are evil. After discovering the Jewish family, she thinks, “She could hardly believe she has been sleeping peacefully these last few nights with hated Jews so near” (45). She even struggles with the idea of turning in her parents, writing in her journal, “My parents are the enemy.” However, near the end of the novel, we see a change in her character as she begins to have both pity and sympathy towards Rachel and her mother. This novel has affected my writing because of the characterization. The author properly depicts the naivety of Korinna by emphasizing her hatred of Jews and her thoughts on them being the reason for Germany’s downfall. Although the story is in third person, Korinna’s emotions are well depicted, which is something that should be practiced by every writer.
All the books I read about Nazi Germany and concentration camps were in the perspective of the Jews and those helping them. Behind the Bedroom Wall followed Korinna, a young girl who was a loyal member in the Jungmadel, the youth group of the Nazis. Korinna has total faith in Hitler and believes him when he claims that the Jews are the problem. She is shocked and horrified when she finds that her parents are hiding a Jewish family in her house. She is torn between her loyalty to her country or her love for her family. As she debates what to do, she interactes with the family and realizes that she should not believe everything that she is told. It was enlightening to read from the perspective of someone who followed Hitler and this books showed how the kids were almost brainwashed in a way to be loyal to their leader. This was probably one of my favorite books on this period.
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