Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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French, Jackie.
New York : HarperCollins, 2003.
ISBN 0060086521
(2 booktalks)
Booktak #1

It started out as a game.  The children were waiting for the school bus one rainy day and they were bored.  Anna suggested they play The Game.  They hadn't played in a long time and they all eagerly agreed.  The Game consisted of making up a story.  After all the children made suggestions as to what the story would be about, Anna declared that it was her turn to chose and her story to tell.  The story had a simple premise.  What if Adolph Hitler had a daughter?  What if she didn't fit into the perfect Aryan image that Hitler tried to create.  What if she had some visible deformity?  Thus begins the story.  Day after day as the children wait for the school bus, the story continues.  Anna adds more and more details and the children become so caught up in the story that they begin to believe that the character is real.

Booktalk #2

What if Hitler had a daughter? This book tells the tale of a group of Australian children who, while waiting for their school bus, play a game of storytelling.  Four friends, Anna, Mark, Ben, and Tracy, usually entertain themselves by telling tales about mermaids, fairies, or horses. One of the main characters, Anna, starts to tell a pretend story about a mysterious character called Heidi. Anna imagines that Heidi, a young girl who lived during World War II, was Hitler's daughter.  Hitler's daughter was hidden away from the outside world because Hitler didn't want anyone to know he had a daughter, especially a daughter who had a large birthmark on her face and a lame leg. Heidi lives in isolation and is cared for by a governess called Fraulien Gelbar. Heidi receives occasional visits from her father, whom she addresses as Duffi. The Australian children are fascinated by the emerging details in the story of Heidi, which Anna tells over a period of a few days. Mark, who is really drawn into the story, begins to wonder how it would feel to be the child of someone as evil as Hitler.  Also, Mark begins to question his own parents and the fact that his family lives on land that was originally occupied by the Aborigines.  Anna’s story is so believable that Mark wonders if the story is true and if Heidi was truly, Hitler's Daughter by Jackie French. (Becky Proctor,, school librarian at Dorchester Academy, St. George, SC)

SUBJECTS:     Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945 -- Family -- Fiction.
                        Storytelling -- Fiction.
                        Australia -- Fiction.


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