The Boys from St. Petri

The Boys from St. Petri

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by Bjarne B. Reuter
     
 

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In 1942, a group of young men begin a series of increasingly dangerous protests against the German invaders of their Danish homeland.  See more details below

Overview

In 1942, a group of young men begin a series of increasingly dangerous protests against the German invaders of their Danish homeland.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-A historical novel set during World War II. Lars and Gunnar, sons of the local minister, form the core of a small band of Danish high school boys who meet secretly in the loft of St. Petri church and plan petty acts of resistance against the occupying troops. When the defiant Otto, possessor of a stolen German luger, is recruited into the organization, the level of sabotage escalates. Now, instead of stealing soldiers' caps and puncturing the Germans' tires, the boys raid an airfield building. Not everyone agrees with the new course of action. When they steal explosives and plot to destroy a German arms train, Gunnar's lifelong friend abandons the group. The train is destroyed, but the boys are caught and all but Otto are arrested. Interesting subplots on teenage love, the sport of rowing, and the plight of Danish Jews add to the texture of the story. The characters are unforgettable and their encounters with the German soldiers are vividly portrayed. Readers are provided with a beautiful contrast of the peaceful Danish countryside and the tension of wartime occupation. And Bell's translation is comfortable, with simple but powerful prose. Because the pacing and the development of characters are slow and deliberate, the book will appeal most to sophisticated readers. If they can get past the rather uninspiring title, they're in for a real treat.- Tim Rausch, Crescent View Middle School, Sandy, UT
Hazel Rochman
Translated from the Danish, this is an exciting adventure in the ever-popular World War II genre of ordinary kids fighting the Nazi occupation. From the viewpoint of teenager Lars, we see how the war brings intensity and exhilaration to his small town. Then, gradually, mischievous pranks give way to real risks; the hideous talk of racial purity threatens a Jewish friend; and even a teacher turns out to be a collaborator. The story takes a while to get going, especially the lugubrious subplot about Lars taking his brother's girlfriend, and there's some heavyhanded mythic symbolism about "fallen angels." What will hold readers is the action, the story of the boys' secret sabotage, and their loss of innocence. As the novel builds to a tense climax, Lars and his gang of boys carry out their careful plan to blow up a train--but the Gestapo is there waiting for them. The world is irrevocably changed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525451211
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
03/28/1994
Edition description:
1st American ed
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.71(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.95(d)
Lexile:
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Anthea Bell has published acclaimed translations from French, German, Danish, and Polish, including W. G. Sebald's Austerlitz. She lives in Cambridge, England.

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Boys from St. Petri 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the occupation of demark During WWII Danish highs school boys get to gather and try to vandalize German things like license plates and German posters. But everything had changed when they found a stolen Lugar. Now, instead of stealing soldiers' caps and puncturing the Germans' tires, the boys raid an airfield building Not everyone agrees with the new course of action. When they steal explosives and plot to destroy a German arms train, Gunner¿s lifelong friend abandons the group. The train is destroyed, but the boys are caught and all but Otto was arrested.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great book with planing and action. The group doesn't do anything to serious until otto joins. Then it starts to get into alot of action in missions. In times it can get really confusing but in a paragraph or two you'll understand what was going on.