Publisher's Note:  

An enemy is hiding in Anna's barn?a Russian prisoner of war on the run from the Nazis. Only Anna knows he's there. If she turns him in, he'll be shot.Anna can't bring herself to cause another person's death?especially when she's questioning her own feelings about the Nazi regime. But if she hides him, she'll be a traitor to Germany, and for that, she could be shot.Anna must evade discovery, knowing that even her own brother will turn her in if he finds out her secret. Can she save the soldier?and herself?

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Carolrhoda Lab


by Gudrun Pausewang

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Overall Review:  

Traitor is a suspenseful and poignant novel set in tumultuous Nazi Germany. When sixteen-year-old Anna decides to hide a Russian fugitive, she never imagines her life could change so instantaneously. Soon she is caught in a dizzying web of lies, outwardly stealing provisions for the Russian and inwardly questioning everything she was taught. Anna’s agonizing emotional and mental struggle make this novel very difficult to put down. 


Written by German author Gudrun Pausewang, Traitor not only tells a riveting story, but brings up several thought-provoking questions. What is the value of human life? Is life a series of black and white choices or is there some gray? Is it better to be a traitor or a murderer? Anna’s unique perspective as a German citizen really illustrated the reality of living under Nazi ideology. I found myself thinking about Anna and this book for days after finishing it. With a glossary and reader discussion questions, Traitor is an excellent must-read that would also make a fantastic book club choice. 

Content Analysis:  

PROFANITY/LANGUAGE: 6 religious exclamations, 1 mild obscenity and 2 religious profanities

VIOLENCE/GORE: As the book is set during World War II, there are several reports of violence. These second hand reports mention fighting in battle, hanging war criminals, killing captured villagers, suicide, killing a dog to avoid capture, Jewish work camps, Hitler dying and citizen bombings. A character throws a rock at a dog and accidentally kills it. Two characters are shot with some blood and detail. 

SEXUAL CONTENT: A solider makes a suggestive comment to a woman; a woman is reported to be pregnant out of wedlock.

Mature Subject Matter:  

War, death, murder, betrayal, ethical and moral injustice

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Citizens and soliders drink on occasion

Reviewed By Rachel
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