Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Hitler's Canary

Hitler's Canary

A Daring Tale of Wartime Adventure

Sandi Toksvig

Roaring Brook Press



"My brother stood up so quickly he almost knocked Mama over. 'Why aren't you doing something? Do you know what the British are calling us? Hitler's canary! I've heard it on the radio, on the BBC. They say he has us in a cage and we just sit and sing any tune he wants.'"

Bamse's family are theater people. They don't get involved in politics. "it had nothing to do with us," Bamse tells us. Yet now he must decide: should he take his father's advice and not stir up trouble? Or should he follow his brother into the Resistance and take part in the most demanding role of his life?

National Jewish Book Award - Finalist, NYPL Book for Reading and Sharing


Praise for Hitler's Canary

“An extraordinary story . . . Truly life-affirming.” —Michael Morpurgo, bestselling author of War Horse

“Through the voice of twelve-year-old Bamse, Toksvig mixes in a sardonic humor that adds spice and comic relief to a story about a very perilous and frightening time. Drawing on real events and the experiences of her family, she re-creates an episode in history when many citizens willingly put their lives at risk to participate in the ten-day rescue of the Danish Jews during the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays of 1943. In total, close to 7200 Jews and 689 non-Jews escaped to Sweden. Readable, intriguing, and realistic, with a good epilogue and author's note appended.” —School Library Journal

“Though such suspenseful episodes will thrill readers, it is Bamse's growing courage and deepening understanding that drive the story.” —Booklist

“There are not many classic children's novels about the Second World War but this is one of them. Toksvig's enchanting and inspiring tale reminds us of how even the smallest people made a difference.” —The Times

“A page-turner written with warmth and wit, not to mention a keen narrative sense.” —Time Out

“Racily written and full of comic incident as well as suspense.” —Independent

“Brilliantly told . . . Never loses sight of the child's view of war.” —Guardian

“Funny and gripping.” —Funday Times

“Sandi Toksvig is a national treasure.” —Deborah Ross, Inside

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Sandi Toksvig

Born in Copenhagen, Sandi Toksvig now lives in Britain. Her theater credits include seasons with the New Shakespeare Company at Regent's Park. She hosts "The News Quiz" TV show in London.

Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvig

From the Publisher

Roaring Brook Press

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