White Rose, by Kip Wilson, is based on the true story of Sophie Scholl, a member of the German resistance during World War II. This novel in verse tells the story of the White Rose Society, a group of German university students who published and distributed pamphlets that denounced the Nazi regime and urged the German people to rise up against them. The group did not get the uprising they desired and most were executed for their actions. However, their story lives on and can inspire others to sacrifice and stand up for the rights of others.
The book starts with the ending, when Sophie and her brother Hans are being interrogated. This lends the entire novel a grim tone. Even without knowing the history of the White Rose Society, the conclusion of the book is predetermined as the characters march closer to disaster. As a result, when the rest of the novel jumps forward and backward in time, we have a better sense of the sacrifice the characters are making as they choose to fight the fascist regime. The consequences of getting caught are severe, which Sophie knows full well. Still she presses on in her defiance, knowing that acquiescing to the Nazis means sacrificing her self-respect and accepting the inhumane subjugation of others.
White Rose is intended for young adults, but could comfortably fit in a middle years classroom as well. Sophie's story is inspiring and the book contains vital lessons about taking a stand and challenging the status quo. White Rose is highly recommended.