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Ausländer Paperback – 4 Jan 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (4 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747594198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747594192
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

`Auslander should prove to be a breakthrough into the top league for Dowswell, a hugely impressive thriller set during the Second World War ... There will be many adults sneakily borrowing this from their children' -- The Bookseller, February 2009

`Ausländer is a superlative, at times almost agonisingly compelling, piece of historical fiction ... The climactic escape to freedom is pure muck-sweat tension'
The Financial Times -- The Financial Times

`An exceptional novel, persuasive in its details, with an utterly compelling story and powerful message' -- Anne Poole, Books Quarterly, January 2009

`This wartime adventure story is thrilling and chilling, a thought-provoking tale that looks at the effects of fascism on society and the family'
-- Big Issue, Scotland

`An unusual war-story of intense excitement'
--School Librarian

`A good historical novel that opens up new layers of understanding for the reader: offering fresh perspectives on something you thought you knew a bit about; beaming a bright light onto some of history's darkest moments, revealing a panoply of unexpected, neglected characters . . . A gripping read' --NATE Classroom Issue 11

`Extremely powerful and compelling. I loved it because it's not the usual WWII book that one would expect'
--The Teacher

Review

`An exceptional novel, persuasive in its details, with an utterly compelling story and powerful message'

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A brilliant story of danger and survival in Nazi Germany.

Polish orphan Peter is 'Volksdeutscher' - of German blood, and looks the Aryan ideal with his blond hair and blue eyes. He is sent to Berlin, where he is invited to live with the Kaltenbach family. He soon realises that he does not share Professor and Frau Kaltenbach's pro-Nazi ideals. At first he thinks that he is alone in not accepting the Nazi ideology that's all around him, but gradually he realises that he is not alone. He falls in love, and becomes involved with the highly-dangerous anti-Nazi free-thinkers, which includes assisting Jews that have gone underground. He also discovers, on more than one occasion, that you can't always judge someone by first impressions.

The story vividly portrays the dangers of wartime Berlin. Peter appears to be the ideal Hitler-Jugend member; obedient, brave and in good physical health. Underneath, though, he never loses his compassion and generosity of spirit. The story doesn't flinch from giving details of what might (and frequently did) happen to those judged dispensible by the Nazis, but doesn't dwell on the cruelty. This would be a great "background" read for those interested in discovering more about this period of history. It is also ideal for demonstrating that not all Germans were Nazis - a common misconception among the young.
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Format: Hardcover
Ths grabs you from the first page. My 13 year old picked it up from the library as it's being reviewed for a teenbook prize. He read it in one sitting, so I thought I'd see what the fuss was about. Thought-provoking, good characterisations, well researched and thoroughly readable to any age.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has been on my radar for some time. It's always interesting to read about the stories of peoples who were on 'the other side' in world conflicts such as WW1 and WW2. This YA story by Dowswell is a delight, dragging us completely into the life of civilians in Germany, and showing us how much the all-pervasive Nazi party-state influenced things. We're all used to the stories of the battles in WW2, but less is known about what went on in Germany's towns and cities. It's quite frightening how normal utterly crazy things became, and how people rationalised it so that they could cope, and survive. A great read, and one I look forward to reading to my son and daughter, when they are a little older.

Ben Kane, author of the Spartacus and Hannibal novels.
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By Jenny, Wondrous Reads TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of fiction set in and around the Second World War. I don't know what it is that fascinates me, all I know is that it's a particular point of interest, and has been the subject of some of my favourite books. Auslander is a great addition to war fiction, and though it's not up there with The Book Thief or The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, it's most definitely worth a read.

By reading the first page alone, you can tell Dowswell has done his homework. His attention to detail is almost flawless, as is his ability to paint a clear picture of wartime Germany and its surrounding areas. Warsaw in 1941 is a scary place to be, and that's where Peter's story starts. From there, he's sent to a family in Germany, introduced to Nazi propaganda, and deemed an auslander -- a foreigner. He also stumbles across proof of medical experiements being tested on jews, and becomes tangled up in a dangerous web of lies and deceit. It's all for a good cause, but it doesn't do him any favours as a respected member of the Hitler Youth.

I can't even imagine what it must have been like to be a teenager during WWII. Most of their choices were stripped away, and they lived in a constant fear of being bombed or killed because their hair wasn't the right colour. With Auslander, Dowswell tries to show that fear and uncertainty and, for the most part, he manages to. I personally wanted to see more of the Hitler Youth, and how that affected the children and teenagers enlisted. I also would have liked a first person narrative, so I could have read how Peter was feeling, and how everything was really affecting him. Without being in his head, I did have some trouble warming to him, and by the end of the novel, I still wasn't fully convinced.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paul Dowswell books i have dicovered in the past year,from the powder monkey to the slave ship and battle fleet. have been great and then i find Auslander, well i do hope that Paul keeps up the good work as i now am waiting for his next book with anticipation.Auslander
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Format: Paperback
This book tells the story of Peter, a polish orphan who finds himself adopted by the Katlenbach's, a german family. Here he is introduced to the Nazi regime and finds himself questioning all he has been told by his new family. He falls in love with a young girl and starts to help her and her family in their anti Nazi movement.

Paul Dowswell has done a great job in making his characters come to life, this is aided by the attention to detail within the book.

A compelling book with well thought out characters and about an extremely thought provoking subject.
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Format: Paperback
I couldn't put this down, even though I am the mum of the target audience (teenagers). It makes a change to read events from an unusual point of view, in this case a boy being raised in Nazi Germany during the war, and makes you think at the same time as being a Really Good Read!!
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