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The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero

by Patricia McCormick

Published by Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins, 2016
174 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-241108-2

12 and older

Short chapters make for a swiftly paced account of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Born in 1906, he was a singular child in a large, progressive German family. Drawn to religion, he studied theology and pursued a career in the ministry. Bonhoeffer believed the German Lutheran church had a responsibility to have an impact on the lives of ordinary people, and to speak out against injustice. His ideas were further informed by a visit to the United States, when he saw the travesty of racism and experienced the energizing, uplifting Black Abyssinian Baptist Church. He returned to Germany and furthered his activism against the rising National Socialist Party. Eventually asked to serve as a spiritual guide to would-be Hitler assassins, Bonhoeffer concluded that putting an end to the atrocities taking place in Germany and across Europe meant setting pacifism aside. Along with his co-conspirators, he was eventually caught and executed, but his writings are considered critical works on the intersection of religion and social justice and were among those read and cited by Martin Luther King Jr. The compelling narrative includes occasional black-and-white photographs and concludes with source notes and a bibliography. (Age 12 and older)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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