Winner of a 2020 Christopher Award for Young People
“Germany in 1938 comes alive and will be unforgettable to young readers in this powerful debut novel, Crushing the Red Flowers.”—James Patterson
"Never before have I read a piece of fiction that felt so true. This deeply powerful and poignant book is an important addition to world literature."—Taran Matharu, New York Times best-selling author
"Family loyalty, government opposition, bullying, and facing total upheaval in one’s life are dealt with memorably in this multilayered tale."—Kirkus
What if the person you are supposed to hate is the one person who can save you?
Crushing the Red Flowers is the story of how two ordinary boys cope under the extraordinary circumstances of Kristallnacht. Emil Rosen and Friedrich Weber couldn’t have less in common, but in the summer of 1938, they must both deal with the changes steamrolling through Germany. Friedrich struggles with an uncle in jail and a cruel Hitler Youth leader, while Emil does his best to avoid the blistering anti-Semitism that's threatening his family. As the rules of yesterday no longer make sense, both boys find comfort at a private spot along the Leine River. Then in the late hours of November 9th, their world explodes, and the two boys are forced together in a race against time that requires Friedrich to risk his life in order to save Emil and his family.