Review: Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French


It′s 1939, and for Georg, son of an English academic living in Germany, life is full of cream cakes and loving parents. It is also a time when his teacher measures the pupils′ heads to see which of them have the most ′Aryan′- shaped heads. But when a university graduation ceremony turns into a pro-Nazi demonstration, Georg is smuggled out of Germany to war-torn London and then across enemy seas to Australia where he must forget his past and who he is in order to survive.

Hatred is contagious, but Georg finds that kindness can be, too.

The companion book for HITLER′S DAUGHTER, PENNIES FOR HITLER examines the life of a child during World War 2, from a different perspective

I’ve been a fan of Jackie French my entire life. I think I was 10, maybe younger when I first read one of her novels. I’m now in my mid-twenties. I literally grew up with her and to see her still writing and her novels still being just as amazing to me now as they were to me when I was younger is brilliant. Sometimes as you grew older those favourite author’s you had then just don’t live up to your now older expectations. Jackie French certainly isn’t one of those.


While published many years after Hitler’s Daughter, Pennies for Hitler ties in nicely with it. The writing, while aimed for young adults is captivating and yes it moves quickly but you have to keep in mind that the book – just over 300 pages – covers pre-war through to the end of the war (in the epilogue). Despite that, Jackie French hit the most important parts and you could understand what Georg(e) was going through during his time in Germany then England and Australia during the war as he pretended to be someone he wasn’t. Perhaps in a predictable way, his foster family reacted to the news of who he was but for a YA book that is to be expected, you can’t have it too dark or it would no longer be a YA novel.


The letters throughout the book gave insight into the characters both Georg(e) and the others writing them which not only broke the story up (though it was great) it allowed the author to give us information that was important and interesting without dragging the story on further


Once again Jackie French as proved herself to be a wonderful and amazing author. I would have liked a more solid ending to the novel than what was provided by the author.


★ ★ ★ ★ / 5

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