Review: Risking Exposure by Jeanne Moran

September 25, 2014 Elyse's Reviews 0

Review: Risking Exposure by Jeanne MoranRisking Exposure on September 16, 2013
Genres: Historical, YA
Pages: 186
Source: Purchased
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Munich, Germany, 1938. The Nazis are in power and war is on the horizon. The law makes fourteen-year old Sophie Adler a member of Hitler Youth; her talent makes her an amateur photographer. 
Then she contracts polio. During her long hospitalization, her Youth leader supplies her with film. Photographs she takes of fellow polio patients are turned into propaganda, mocking people with disabilities. 
Sophie realizes her new disability has changed her status. She’s now an outsider, a target of Nazi scorn and possible persecution. Her only weapon is her camera. 
Will she find the courage to separate from the crowd, photograph the full truth, and risk exposure?

I’ve always had an innate fascination and interest with Holocaust novels, and movies. It started in Middle School with things like history class, a visit to the Holocaust exhibit at the museum, and Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. And it didn’t stop there -it followed me into High School once again with World History, Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green, and movies like Schindler’s List. So when I find a novel based on that time period I don’t hesitate to pick it up.

When I read the blurb for ‘Risking Exposure’ it instantly piqued my interest, I had never read anything set from the German perspective and reading through the eyes of a young girl in the Hitler Youth truly sold me on this book. I don’t believe many people think about how WWII affected the German people, a few years ago I spent quite some time with a patient of mine who was from Germany. She told me a lot about her life and the struggles of her family during the Holocaust. So, to say the least this book really pulled on my heart strings to imagine a child on either side of this war battling things like this while not being able to feel like they can actually ‘do’ something about it.

In ‘Risking Exposure’ we meet Sophie Adler while she’s attending a Hitlerjugend meeting with her Jungmädel troop in Munich, Germany. The Hitlerjugend also known as the HJ, were the Hitler Youth. You can tell from the very beginning that Sophie questions what is going on around her and doesn’t accept the Nazi teachings because her troop leaders say so, while her older brother Klaus couldn’t be any more gung-ho about it all. Sophie is always armed with her trusty camera preparing to be the official Youth photographer for their region. When she contracts polio she soon finds a very different side to what her troop is doing, and finds a way to make a difference.

This book felt like I was reading a biography, the characters and story were all very real. Risking Exposure was certainly geared towards young adults, but this story captivated me from the beginning til the end – so it most certainly can hold the attention of an adult audience. I don’t want to spoil too much, but the anticipation at the end of this book was killing me. I was flipping pages almost faster than I could read them and then it just ended! IT JUST ENDED. No resolution, it was just over!

Thankfully I have been reassured by the author that a sequel is in the works.

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