In January the Fargo-Moorhead Area Book Club met to discuss Neal Bascomb's award-winning book, The Nazi Hunters. Our group had mixed feelings about nonfiction texts. As readers, some of us can't get enough of it, while others tend to avoid it. We all agreed, however, that the quality of nonfiction texts for teens has increased dramatically over the recent years. Our group shared a love for books such as Bomb and other books by Steve Sheinkin, Unbroken by Lauren Hildebrandt (both the original and adaption for younger readers), and How Superman Defeated The KKK by Richard Bowers. Many of our members are also looking forward to reading Family Romanov by Candace Flemming. For teachers and librarians looking for great nonfiction titles, NCTE, YALSA, and ALA all have wonderful awards that recognize excellence in nonfiction for a wide age range of readers.
For many, Bascomb's book filled in some gaps in our knowledge in regards to what happened following World War Two when Nazi defectors escaped to South America and were hunted for their crimes against humanity. Many group members wondered if there was further follow-up in the adult version of this book, Hunting Eichmann. Bascomb's adaption kept the tension in this story up through its entirety, making it a book that was hard to put down! As a group we felt Bascomb's writing style reminded us a lot of Sheinkin's Bomb. We also thought the primary source images used throughout the story helped bring it to life. A great read for teens and anyone interested in learning more about this part of our human history.
--Dan Dooher, Book Club Coordinator