Review: Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken
Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken
by Nita Tyndall
HarperTeen (imprint of HarperCollins), 2022
This first-person narrative, seen through the non-Jewish Charlie’s eyes, is a compelling, moving story of the life of a queer teen in Hitler’s Germany. Even the cover illustration draws us in, with Charlie’s challenging look aimed directly at the reader. However, the book is limited as a Jewish story, and is therefore less than ideal as a contender for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. The inclusion of the Jewish Minna and her family in the story is understandable, as it is hard to speak of the oppression of the Nazi regime without including Jewish characters. However, after Kristallnacht, when Minna and her family leave for relative safety in France, she becomes less an integral part of the story, and instead a way of demonstrating the evil of the regime and the empathy shown by Charlie and her family and friends. Of interest to queer teens and their allies, Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken can be used as a springboard for discussions about complicity and resistance in today’s complicated world.
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