middle grade · young adult

We Will Not Be Silent


We Will Not Be Silent tells the true story of the White Rose Society— a student led resistance against Hitler. Russell Freedman adeptly shares this history with younger readers (middle-grade and up) focusing on Hans and Sophie Scholl, their classmates and friends at the University of Munich who worked together to write, print, and distribute thousands of pamphlets calling for active resistance against Hitler.

The Nazi party controlled everything, there was no room for critical and independent thinking. The White Rose Society brought together the students who recognized evil, recognized the restrictive government, recognized the hateful actions and rhetoric and came together to fight.

I read this book this past summer and cried and cried— for their bravery, their lives, their selflessness, and their conviction to stand up against evil. I can’t think of a better book to put in every middle school and high school library right now.

Why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanized state system presided over by criminals and drunks? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right – or rather, your moral duty – to eliminate this system?

from the Third Leaflet, White Rose Society

You can get a copy here and here, or borrow one from your library. The intended audience for this book is middle school and up, but if you want more information on the White Rose Society, there’s plenty out there.

young adult

Beyond Magenta


My local newspaper this morning had an image of a car tagged with the hate speech, die fag, painted in red on the hood of a car belonging to a young college student. If you’ve been paying attention to social media, the news, your life, etc. then you’ve seen emboldened racist behavior manifested in all its different forms.

Susan Kuklin’s photography collection, Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out is a beautiful book. The teens interviewed for her photography collection shared their stories and experiences that are as varied and unique as they are in these transcribed interviews and essays. Beyond Magenta is incredible in it allows room for the teens that fill the pages to dictate their own story, a freedom that so often the media, popular culture, their classmates, families, and their world doesn’t even allow.

I’m not going to pretend that all these stories are filled with hope, sunshine, and rainbows. It’s in there, the sunshine and the hope, but there is also so much pain and loss.

My biggest comfort in this book is that you can read it, you can buy it here, here, here, and borrow it from a public library found here. And you can meet these teens, ON THEIR TERMS, thank god for that.

Be active, protect yourself, and protect each other.