The Pirates of Cologne, by Dinah Mack, is YA historical fiction based on the Edelweiss Pirates, German youth who fought against the Hitler Youth and joined the organized resistance. As one young reader told me recently, “Everyone needs to read this book. It is that important.”
Synopsis: The year is 1942, and thirteen-year-old Sebastian Jaeger has escaped from a Hitler Youth camp and returned to the city of Cologne. Five years earlier, his father, a Communist leader, was imprisoned, leaving Sebastian alone to care for his grandmother. Attracted by the possibility of true friendship, Sebastian joins a group of street kids called the Edelweiss Pirates who make a game out of their rebellion against the Hitler Youth and the Nazis. But their childish antics soon take a more serious and dangerous turn as they begin to work with the organized resistance.