The Auslander by Paul Dowswell

March 21, 2012
By Adal Van Voorhis BRONZE, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Adal Van Voorhis BRONZE, Cambridge, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Sometimes, if you want to make the right choices, you have to give up and risk a lot. Peter, the main character in the book The Ausländer, learns this the hard way. Peter gets sent to Nazi-Germany after a group of Germans visit his orphanage in Poland and decide that he is of “racial value”. But will he be able to decide what is right and wrong, in a time when few could? The Ausländer, by British author Paul Dowswell, is a great book for everyone who enjoys an intriguing but fact-filled book about what life was really like in Nazi-Germany.

The Ausländer, a fantastic novel about World War II, tells the enthralling story of a Polish-German boy in Nazi German. Piotr, a boy who had German parents but lived in Poland, is liberted from his orphanage when a group of Germans judge him to be “of racial value”. After they place him in the racial category of Nordic, the most popular German race, he is on his way to Berlin to be adopted by one of Germany’s most prominent Nazi families, the Kaltenbachs. The boy who now calls himself Peter is soon grabbed by the Nazi fever. He is the perfect Nazi child – Nordic features, obedient, smart, strong, and tall. Until one day he meets a girl that is different from most of the others. Anna and her family don’t trust the Nazis and can see their wrongdoing. Peter soon forms a relationship with Anna. After some ups and downs, Peter decides that he must help Anna’s family feed Jews in hiding... But what would happen if the Kaltenbachs found out? Will he be able to keep his secret? If you want to know, you’re going to have to read this book yourself...

I really loved this book. Not only is it a great action packed story, but you also learn a lot about the Nazis. However, it is not in textbook format. You don’t even realize that you’re learning, it just happens! Some people might not like historical fiction books, but in this book you don’t get this feeling that the world is outdated and surreal. And it’s so good, you won’t be able to put it down! (Well, I sure wasn’t able to!) Another thing I like is that the book is not written from Peter’s point of view, but when telling the story the author still really focuses on him and his emotions. This allows you to not only see from Peter’s perspective, but also doesn’t quite eliminate you from his emotions. All in all, I really liked the book The Ausländer.

You should always make your own judgment and not just go along with other’s ideas. This is the message that I got from The Ausländer. When Peter comes to Nazi-Germany, he is caught by the Nazi fever and goes along committing all the crimes the Nazis did. After a while, he realizes what he is doing and now his big question is if he should help undercover Jews. Should he risk his own life to do what’s right, or should he work only on saving himself? This question might sound extreme, but we have to make our own decisions every day about judging people. All in all, the message I got from this book was that we should not rely on others to judge for us but to always make our own judgments.

If I were to rate this book, I would give it a 9 out of 10 stars. I really liked this book, but I don’t think that any book is perfect. This book, for example, has a few characters that could be explained a little more fully, but they are not really important. Other than that, I can’t find any flaws in this book. I would recommend it to every kid grades 5-8. However, if anyone misses to notice this book at that age, I think that older kids and even adults would enjoy it. In conclusion, I would give this book a 9 out of 10 stars and recommend it to everyone in grades 5 and up.

In conclusion, The Ausländer is the perfect book for someone who likes a suspense and action-packed historical fiction novel. If you were in Peter’s place, what would you have done? How would you have acted? Would you have risked your own life to help others? Next you have to do research on World War 2 or Nazi-Germany, instead of reading boring textbooks or websites, why don’t you just open this suspense and action-packed book?

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This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 31 2012 at 9:17 am
JellicleCat6 SILVER, Cambridge, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 11 comments
Congrats, Adal! Your book review is awesome! :D


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