The Last Hawk

Elizabeth Wein (Barrington Stoke)

The Last Hawk

Review by Scarlett
This historical non-fiction-based book was very interesting. It made me think and I loved how I never knew what was going to happen next. For me what made it even more interesting was the time it was set, in WW2. I have always found this historical period interesting and especially in this book as I felt like I was getting an insight to how people lived and felt at that time.

I found Ingrid the main character of the book particularly interesting as she was so brave and independent. She knew what was right and I think she is a great role model. One of the characters I disliked was Hanna. She was quite arrogant and oblivious as to how some people are living and dying working in the factories, building the aircrafts that she carelessly ordered without thinking how or where they were made. On the other hand through, I think the author has done this to show how blind people were of all the bad things Hitler was doing, making people work non-stop in the factories until they can work no more.

In this novel I also learnt new things. I learnt that when you had some sort of illness or difficulty you were killed or stopped from having children as they did not want you passing on bad genes to future generations. I think this is awful and not right and everyone is special and unique in their own way even if they have disabilities.

This plot is very interesting but quite serious and thought-provoking. I would definitely recommend this book to other pupils. It is great and I think it will raise awareness as to how bad and hard this time was for people.

Overall, I loved this book, I only disliked the ending as it was a bit of a twist and I thought it would end differently. It did end on a cliff hanger which I liked though. I think Elizabeth should make a second book – I would definitely be interested in that. 

Review by Florence
The Last Hawk is set in Nazi Germany, it documents the life of Ingrid Hartman, a girl who dreams of becoming a pilot but is held back by her stutter.

I have mixed feelings about the book but overall, I found it quite enjoyable... I liked the protagonist, Ingrid. I found her character unique and interesting, and I liked that she had a goal of her own. I also really liked the setting; Nazi Germany is a difficult topic to talk about, but this book was written in a way that sparked conversation but was still sensitive to the topic. I really liked the way relationships are handled in this book and by relationships, I mean family and friendships, though Ingrid and Emil’s friendship did have some romantic undertones.

Now for the dislikes – because this book was written a younger target audience, I found some of the language used not challenging enough for me. I also felt that because Ingrid begins the novel in support of the Nazis it may cause young children to show sympathy towards the Nazi characters in the book which though was not the intention of the writer, it is still something you do not want in your book. I also thought that some of the side characters were not developed enough and instead came off as one-dimensional.

My favourite character was Emil. I loved the loyalty that he felt to those around him, and his keen sense of morals was great. It was interesting seeing him struggle to fight against what was right and what he had been taught. It was all good seeing that he would do whatever it takes to do the correct thing. The ending he came to though was unfortunate and upsetting.

Though before I read the book I had a decent understanding of Nazi Germany, this book helped me realize how little I knew about women’s roles in Nazi Germany, and I of course remedied that with some research of my own. I always find it easier to learn when I find the plot interesting, and this was no exception. Overall, I really liked this book and would recommend it to younger teenagers (especially girls) who want to know more about Germany when the Nazi party was in power. 

Review by Scarlett
4 stars. The Last Hawk by Elizabeth Wein was an amazing book for readers who like fast-paced action books. The topic in this book is very advanced so if you are a young reader I don't think it's the best. On the other hand, this book was exciting and really captured my attention. The plot was simple yet intriguing and the way the scenery was described painted a picture in my head. 

Review by Karan
This is a novella about Nazi Germany. The story is about Ingrid Hartman, a girl who has a stutter, and because of this she is being hunted down by Nazis. This is because Nazis saw disabilities as a possible weakness and because of this I found out how much Nazis wanted power – this goes from killing people with stutters to people in wheelchairs. I also learned how cruel the Nazis were and I found they would carry children out of the youth hospital simply because they were not learning fast enough, which is something I have also discovered through my history lessons on Nazi Germany. 

Ingrid is a pilot. Her friend Emil tells her about the treatment of Jews at concentration camps – he has given her proof and she has to go on one last mission [which] is a bit like a suicide mission. This hurts her a lot more because at the youth hospital Nazis would sterilise the disabled people and then force neglect and those who didn’t die would die from pneumonia, and her mother had died trying to protect the children at the youth hospital. 

For me the plot was not that interesting, but if you are into short novellas or books about Nazi Germany then I recommend this book.

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