- Nazi Saboteurs: Hitler's Secret Attack on America by Samantha Seiple
Seiple, Samantha Nazi Saboteurs: Hitler's Secret Attack on America. Scholastic Focus, 2019 [224p] illus. with photographs Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-338-25914-8 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-338-25924-7 $10.99 Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 8-12
On June 13th, 1942, eight German nationals invaded American soil, tasked with sabotaging the war effort by planting explosives in factories, canals, various railways, and bridges. By June 27th, all of them were caught and facing a military tribunal, betrayed to the FBI by one of their own. If they were found guilty of their crimes, they faced execution, with the fates of their families on both sides of the Atlantic up in the air. It's a little-known story that promises excitement and intrigue, with a fast-paced prologue that yanks its readers into a world of disguise and danger. Unfortunately, this nonfiction narrative fails to deliver on its early promises; the personal lives of the eight dominate, while the acts of cunning and derring-do that would draw readers are shunted aside. Seiple chronicles the training process the titular saboteurs embark on, their petty internal disputes, and their general disinterest in supporting the Nazi cause in a thorough but unfortunately dry account. Black and white photographs of typical World War II topics (e.g. Adolf Hitler, concentration camps, propaganda posters) are sprinkled throughout the text with little connection to the actual content on the page. This jumbled throughline is nearly compensated for by Seiple's extensive research, evident in back matter that includes a lengthy list of declassified government files.