Shortly after the events of Kristallnacht, Hugh Carleton Green, a correspondent who worked for London’s Daily Telegraph wrote: “Mob law ruled in Berlin throughout the afternoon and evening and hordes of hooligans indulged in an orgy of destruction. I have seen several anti-Jewish outbreaks in Germany during the last five years, but never anything as nauseating as this.” Part of the “Snapshots in History” series, Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, portrays the horrific events in Germany and Austria leading up to, during, and following the night of November 9, 1938. Fitzgerald encompasses a great deal of material into one flowing narrative. Little-known, slightly bizarre facts should intrigue the teen reader. For example, it took six months to replace all the glass that had been smashed during that one night of violence, looting, and destruction. With its generous margins, appropriate sidebars, and black and white photos, Kristallnacht is a useful book for students who are researching this difficult subject. A detailed timeline, glossary, source notes, bibliography, and index contribute to an accessible and readable text. Unfortunately, one factual error and several copywriting errors mar what is otherwise an effective treatment of a heart-wrenching topic. Ages 12 – 14.
Anne Dublin is the teacher-librarian at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, Canada and an award-winning author of books for children and young adults. Her latest book is June Callwood: A Life of Action (Second Story Press, 2006).