We Will Not Be Silent


We Will Not Be Silent
Written by Russell Freedman

Publisher’s Summary:
In his signature eloquent prose, backed up by thorough research, Russell Freedman tells the story of Austrian-born Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie. They belonged to Hitler Youth as young children, but began to doubt the Nazi regime. As older students, the Scholls and a few friends formed the White Rose, a campaign of active resistance to Hitler and the Nazis. Risking imprisonment or even execution, the White Rose members distributed leaflets urging Germans to defy the Nazi government. Their belief that freedom was worth dying for will inspire young readers to stand up for what they believe in.

Primary Source Pairing:
We Will Not Be Silent is an intimate look at the triumphs in the midst of struggles experienced by the Scholl siblings and their friends. With many family photos showing Hans and Sophie, reading We Will Not Be Silent almost feels like looking through a photo album in the family’s living room. However, the context of the book is much more serious and life-threatening. Author Russell Freedman created an intriguing, accessible, and suspenseful account that helps all readers learn more about the fear those living in Germany experienced during WWII.

For this primary source pairing, invite students to use the We Will Not Be Silent readers bookmark (shown above and linked below) as they are reading. Each time the reader comes to a primary source, invite him or her to stop and study the image and consider how it connects to what is in the text of the book. The primary sources included in this book not only show the Scholl siblings but also provide important historical context for the reader. Print and distribute these bookmarks in whatever way works best in your library.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Examine the primary source.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What is happening in the image?
  • How does the image connect to what you are reading?
  • Find something small but interesting.
  • How does this primary source help you understand what was happening in Germany during WWII?
  • What questions do you still have?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
We Will Not Be Silent_ReadersBookmark: Created by JMarek