Michael at the Invasion of France, 1943

Michael at the Invasion of France, 1943

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by Laurie Calkhoven
     
 

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When the Nazis invade Paris, Michael, a thirteen-year- old French-American, wants to be a part of the Resistance. Starting small, vandalizing Nazi propaganda and refusing to hail Hitler, Michael works his way into the full-blown Resistance, escorting American aviators to safe zones and delivering important spy documents. But when an injured pilot needs help to

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Overview

When the Nazis invade Paris, Michael, a thirteen-year- old French-American, wants to be a part of the Resistance. Starting small, vandalizing Nazi propaganda and refusing to hail Hitler, Michael works his way into the full-blown Resistance, escorting American aviators to safe zones and delivering important spy documents. But when an injured pilot needs help to escape France, will Michael be brave enough to complete the mission?

With historical notes, time lines, and maps to augment the page-turning action, it's easy to see why School Library Journal says Boys of Wartime "will appeal to history buffs and reluctant readers alike."

Editorial Reviews

Booklist

"Delivers taut action and adventure"

From the Publisher
"Delivers taut action and adventure" — Booklist

"An absorbing adventure" — Kirkus

"The action is intense" — School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Rachelle Andrade
What could a twelve-year-old boy possibly do to resist the Nazi army that has taken his city by force? This is the dilemma that Michael and his friend Jacques face during the German invasion of Paris in 1943. Although his father, a soldier in the French army, has been missing since the Battle of France, Michael and his mother are convinced that he is still alive in England and has not given up. This inspires a myriad of emotions within Michael, who vows to resist the German soldiers in any way that he can. He is motivated partly by fear that his father will be disappointed in him for the role Michael believes he played in allowing his brother Georges to be taken prisoner by the Nazis. Soon Michael finds a way to resist the Germans that goes beyond tearing down posters and yelling "viva la France!" He becomes part of a secret alliance responsible for helping downed American and British aviators escape the country so that they may engage in battle once again. Along the way, Michael is forced to make crucial choices and learns important life lessons that enable him to become a young man who can feel satisfaction in his actions instead of guilt. This engaging novel from the "Boys of Wartime" series is filled with suspense, as Michael risks his life and his family's safety in the name of liberty. Readers will learn a great deal about World War II as they share in the fear and suffering of those who were oppressed during this time. In addition, this book includes a historical time line of the war, a list of pertinent characters during this period, and a description of children's roles in the French resistance. Reviewer: Rachelle Andrade
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—The invasion of France and arrest of his brother make 13-year-old French American Michael keen to join the Resistance. The movement and activities of French citizens are immediately restricted once the Nazis take over, with crueler treatment extended to the Jewish population. A young Jewish child is hidden and smuggled to safety, while a respected teacher who speaks out against the Nazi regime disappears. Michael and a friend form a resisters club; eventually he joins the official Resistance movement, delivering forged identification papers for Allied soldiers and assisting an injured American pilot to safety. The story is short on characterization and long on action, which should draw in reluctant readers of historical fiction. The fear French citizens feel is palpable, and Michael's shock at discovering friends in the Nazi youth unit and the Resistance is realistically portrayed. The action is intense, particularly in scenes involving a near-disastrous encounter with a Nazi during a rescue attempt and Michael encountering an interloper while attempting to deliver Resistance materials. While Calkhoven's research is apparent, it never threatens to overtake the story line and action. Extensive back matter includes a detailed time line and brief biographies of key historical figures.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A young Parisian joins the French Resistance in this Boys of Wartime series entry. Motivated equally by patriotism, hatred for the occupying boches and a desire to win the esteem of his absent father, Michael joins a friend in distributing taunting leaflets. His involvement in Resistance activities soon escalates into helping captured British and American airmen make their way to Spain. At first he acts only as a courier of forged identity documents, but later he helps first to slip a Jewish neighbor's child out of the city, then hides an ailing American fugitive in his family's apartment before accompanying him south over the Pyrenees. Meanwhile, he serves as a witness to the anxieties and physical hardships of wartime life under the Nazis, while seeing friends, neighbors and his own older brother taken away and ultimately earning sufficient self-esteem to lose his dependence on his father's regard. Calkoven's characters are simplified types, but she crafts an action-oriented plot that is suspenseful without being explicitly violent and is also well stocked with carefully researched details. A timeline and multiple notes at the end provide quick overviews of the tale's historical background and the war's overall course. An absorbing adventure that wears its twin informational and character-development loads lightly. (map, glossary, reading list) (Historical fiction. 10-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803737242
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
02/16/2012
Series:
Boys of Wartime Series, #3
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,347,500
Product dimensions:
5.81(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.94(d)
Lexile:
660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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