Facing the Enemy
How a Nazi Youth Camp in America Tested a Friendship
by Barbara Krasner
Narrated by Michael Crouch; Christopher Gebauer; Romy Nordlinger
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Pub Date 05 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 27 Dec 2023
RB Media, Recorded Books
Tommy and Benjy’s friendship is torn apart when Tommy starts attending Camp Nordland, a pro-Nazi summer camp, in this novel-in-verse for teens set in New Jersey during World War II.
What do you do when your best friend becomes the enemy? Growing up in Newark, NJ, in the 1930s, Tommy and Benjy have always done everything together—it never mattered that Benjy was Jewish and Tommy was German. But as Hitler rises to power in Germany and war brews in Europe, everything changes. When Tommy goes to Camp Nordland for the summer, he learns that German Americans must side with the Nazis and that Jews are the enemy. Heartbroken by the loss of his friend, Benjy joins the Newark Minutemen, an anti-Nazi vigilante group, all the while encouraging Tommy to abandon his increasingly extremist beliefs.
Based on real-life events and groups like the Newark Minutemen and the pro-Nazi German American Bund, this daring novel-in-verse reveals the long history of American right-wing extremism, and its impact on the lives of two ordinary teens.
"(An) illuminating verse novel..." —Publishers Weekly
"The story of a friendship torn apart when Nazi ideology arrives on America’s shores... (e)ach boy struggles with different types of personal adversity, and the challenges of their relationship highlight an important, lesser-known chapter in U.S. history." —Kirkus Reviews
"The novel’s action moves back and forth between Tommy’s and Benjy’s first-person accounts, doing a nice job of adding complexity to the plot...Good for independent reading and, especially, classroom use." —Booklist