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Reviewed by Louanne Piccolo for Readers' Favorite
On the run, Günter and Helmut are trying to avoid Hitler’s last propaganda command in 1945 of sending 15 and 16-year-old boys to fight for their country. Germany is slowly but surely losing the war when Hitler tries to swing it around to his advantage by ordering elderly men and young teenagers to enlist. Annette Oppenlander’s novella, 47 Days: The True Story of Two Teen Boys Defying Hitler’s Reich, focuses on Günter and Helmut who, without knowing how much longer the war will last, disobey the command and run away instead of reporting to their destination. If caught, the boys will be executed for desertion. Will they resist or will they eventually give in and join the ranks?
Annette Oppenlander has written an intriguing and fascinating young adult adventure that will have readers rooting for the fugitives during their daring but terrifying act of defiance. Even more suspenseful is the fact that the fate of the boys is not subject to the whim of the author but, by the time of reading, had already played out in 1945. Readers can only pray that 47 Days will have a happy ending. The language is beautifully simple, but descriptive enough for readers to feel as though they have been transported back into some of the scenes and are watching the action live. I thoroughly enjoyed this novella, as will other lovers of historical books, especially those focusing on World War II and Hitler’s rampant insanity-driven acts. I look forward to more richly detailed and compelling books from Annette Oppenlander!