Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Michael at the Invasion of France 1943 (Boys of Wartime)" by Laurie Calkhoven: Book Review

ISBN:  978-0-8037-3724-2
Hitler's Nazis army is swarming over France and young Michael, still a child on the cusp of becoming a teen, feels very inadequate since his father was fighting for France and has since safely landed in England and Michael's Brother is in a German prisoner of war camp.  Little does he know the tremendous role history will allow him to play in saving lives and foiling the plans and plots of the Gestapo.

Somehow he stumbles into the French Resistance movement where teens, women, and men (who can) are involved aiding in the escape of Jews and downed Allied pilots.  Each day is filled with peril for even the most innocent in their midst. 

Michael's friends in the Durand family are his entry into the French Resistance, and yet he sees them captured by the Gestapo from the information one of his childhood friends who is a German collaborator provided the Germans. 

While this is a novel about a child during World War II, it is packed with historical reality with war and resistance movement material telling what life was really like during that time.  It becomes a living history that brings vivid understanding to a child or adult.  Author Laurie Calkhoven has provided wonderful historical supplemental notes at the end.  Plus a history of the role of children in the French resistance.  Some facts about the Historical Characters who are mentioned in the book are also provided in the notes.  I always love it when a list of unfamiliar words is given defining them for the understanding of readers.  History teachers will love this book as a resource since it includes a time line for the war period and a Further Reading list of books that can be used for reference.

I highly recommend this book as an exciting read for children 8 to 14 and recommend that every school and library stock their shelves with copies of each of Laurie Calkhoven's books. 

Other Boys of Wartime books by Laurie Calkhoven I have reviewed:    
Daniel at the Siege of Boston 1776
Will at the Battle of Gettysburg 1863
DISCLOSURE:  The author, Laurie Calkhoven provided a complimentary copy of Michael at the Invasion of France 1943"  so that I could render my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not requested to provide a positive review. 

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