As he achieves in his previous children's novel My Friend The Enemy, Dan Smith creates an agile and dynamic plot that gets you completely hooked. Of course, it doesn't matter if you are a grown-up, the book will really grab you.
The Second World War progresses and Karl Friedmann, a 12 year-old boy, is definitely convinced that love to Hitler and his thinking is the right way to follow. He is looking forward to joining the Fuhrer's Youth movement and becoming a good German. But after his father is killed in Hitler's war, Karl starts to notice that some people around him have a different feeling about what's happening.
He meets Lisa, whose father has also disappeared, and through her he will begin to see the world from another point of view. The fact that his brother Stephan is into suspicious activity will also be puzzling for him and strongly shake his conviction.
Although death and fear are permanent guests along the pages of this book, My Brother's Secret is a story full of family love. The novel is packed with pertinent and effective conversations, which lead us to think about moral and, perhaps in a pretty basic way, also about politics. Evil is an important ingredient as well, embodied in the Gestapo and its officers, and Karl will have to learn to identify the good facing up to the mean.
Once again Dan Smith takes us to war times. His aim, among others, is to let us face those dilemmas that get tougher in extreme situations. For the young Karl will not be easy to change his mind while everything is a total mess.show more