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Ethyle R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities 2023-24: Writing About Nazis Event

Writing About Nazis Event

Writing about Nazis... for Children?! 
A Discussion of Max in the House of Spies with Adam Gidwitz, Professor Steven Remy (History), and Provost April Bedford
Thursday March 21, 2024
5:00 PM
Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library

Books for children can be simple and sweet. But they shouldn’t be. At least, so argues Newbery Honor-winning and New York Times-bestselling author Adam Gidwitz, whose new middle grade novel Max in the House of Spies takes on questions that challenge even adults: Why did the Nazis do what they did? If your parents were in Nazi Germany, what would you do? Between the truth and your mother, which do you choose? A conversation with History Professor Steven Remy, who advised Gidwitz in the creation of the book, and Provost April Bedford, an expert in children’s literature will explore these questions for ourselves, for historians – and whether, and how, we should pose them to children. 

Adam Gidwitz is the creator and narrator of Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest, a #1 podcast for kids and families, which won best podcast at Kidscreen 2023. Adam wrote the Newbery Honor winner The Inquisitor’s Tale, as well as the New York Times bestseller A Tale Dark & Grimm, which is now an Emmy-nominated animated series on Netflix. His newest book is Max in the House of Spies, which will be published by Penguin Young Readers in February 2024.

Steven Remy is a scholar of modern German history and a Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. He has written four books: The Heidelberg Myth: The Nazification and Denazification of a German University (Harvard, 2003), which examined the responses of scholars to National Socialism; The Malmedy Massacre: The War Crimes Trial Controversy (Harvard, 2017) which dealt with debates over war crimes trials in the U.S. and Germany; Adolf Hitler: A Reference Guide to His Life and Works (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022); and War Crimes: Law, Politics, & Armed Conflict in the Modern World (Taylor & Francis, 2023). 

April Bedford, Interim Provost of Brooklyn College, has previously served as Senior Associate Provost for Academic Programs and Services and Dean of the School of Education at Brooklyn College. Her faculty appointment is in the Department of Early Childhood and Art Education, and she is an affiliate faculty member in the Urban Education program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has been a faculty member in teacher education programs for 25 years and has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses in curriculum and instruction and literacy development. As an avid reader and scholar of children's literature, she has served four terms as a board member of the Children's Literature Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English, chaired two national book award committees, been President of the Children's Literature and Reading Special Interest Group of the International Literacy Association, edited the Journal of Children's Literature, and served on three committees of the American Library Association.

Link to book: