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Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Rise of the Spider

Rolf might only be twelve years old, but he’s old enough to know that things have not been good in his country since the end of the Great War. Half of Germany is out of work, and life in Heroldsberg is changing in ways that scare him. Every night, Rolf’s father and older brother, Romer, have increasingly heated arguments about politics at the dinner table. And when two members of the new Nazi Party, Hans and Nils, move to town as part of the new Hitler Youth movement, Rolf is uneasy to see how enamored Romer is by their promises of a bringing Germany to glory.

Rolf doesn’t trust Hans and Nils for a moment. For all their talk of greatness, they act more like bullies, antagonizing Rolf’s friends and neighbors. Yet Romer becomes increasingly obsessed with their message of division, and Rolf watches in horror as his family fractures even further. When there is an act of vandalism against a Jewish-owned business in town, Rolf fears Romer might have something to do with it. Can Rolf find a way to intervene before things get any worse?