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Shadow on the Mountain

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Overview


Shadow on the Mountain recounts the adventures of a 14-year-old Norwegian boy named Espen during World War II. After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway, Espen and his friends are swept up in the resistance movement. Espen gets his start delivering illegal newspapers, graduates to the role of courier, and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years under the Nazi regime, he gains—and loses—friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him...
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Shadow on the Mountain

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Overview


Shadow on the Mountain recounts the adventures of a 14-year-old Norwegian boy named Espen during World War II. After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway, Espen and his friends are swept up in the resistance movement. Espen gets his start delivering illegal newspapers, graduates to the role of courier, and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years under the Nazi regime, he gains—and loses—friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him as he sets out to escape on skis over the mountains to Sweden.
Preus incorporates archival photographs and other images to tell this story based on the real-life adventures of Norwegian Erling Storrusten, whom Preus interviewed in Norway.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Newbery Honor winner Preus (Heart of a Samurai) delivers a riveting story about teenage freedom fighters in WWII Norway. Espen and the other members of his soccer team hope to continue to enjoy the game they love following the Nazi invasion, but both Espen's teammates and rivals are soon pulled into the resistance movement as rations are cut and their families assaulted. Espen is drafted to be a courier for the resistance, while his younger sister, Ingrid, starts sneaking ration cards to starving Norwegians. Preus ably develops a large cast of characters, rendering them with persuasive vulnerabilities and showing how each is transformed by the war. Espen's skiing missions for the resistance combine the thrilling aspects of an outdoor adventure story with political peril and the threat of violence. An author's note with photographs of the real-life inspiration for Espen, Erling Storrusten (as well as appendices on code breaking and invisible ink), bring the truth behind the powerful story into startling focus. Ages 10–14. Agent: Stephen Fraser, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. (Sept.)
VOYA - Vikki Terrile
When Nazi Germany invades Norway in 1940, the Norwegian people do not give in easily, nor do they give up hope. Espen, in many ways an average teenager, becomes part of the resistance, willing to risk his freedom and his life to combat the Nazis. Based on the true story of a young Norwegian resistance fighter and his peers, Preus has crafted an engaging spy story with likeable characters and an intriguing setting. Because the author borrows a number of historically true events, the narrative both expands and compresses depending on the timeline and action, sometimes losing a bit of the flow that otherwise works well. Espen is clearly an ordinary boy moved to take extraordinary action, and is thoughtful as he watches his best friend and an adversary do the same for the Nazi regime. Preus does not vilify the characters or their choices; her compassionate approach prevents any of the characters from becoming stock caricatures and provides opportunity for consideration and discussion. Where the novel works best is as an examination of the many ways a nation of people engaged in small acts of resistance, waiting out the occupation with courage and resiliency. This is a strong choice for historical fiction and spy story fans, as well as for genre reading assignments. Reviewer: Vikki Terrile
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—This engrossing offering sheds light on the Norwegians' courage during World War II. Preus masterfully weds a story of friendship with the complications faced by 14-year-old Espen and his friends as Nazi restrictions and atrocities become part of their everyday lives. Espen not only has to deal with the political turmoil, but also with discovering that his best friend has joined the German cause, which Espen is committed to work against. Even his young sister, Ingrid, joins the resistance when she gets a bit older. Norway's hazardous topography adds to the adventure as Espen must ski across dangerous mountain passes in order to carry out his secret missions. This is at once a spy thriller, a coming-of-age story, and a chronicle of escalating bravery. Multidimensional characters fill this gripping tale that keeps readers riveted to the end. An informative author's note explains that Espen was inspired by Erling Storrusten, who, as a teenager, helped in the resistance movement. A "Bonus for Code Breakers" and instructions for making invisible ink are appealing additions. Preus aptly celebrates the determination of ordinary citizens in this book. Similar truths are told in Mal Peet's Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passions and Betrayal (Candlewick, 2008) and Kathy Kacer's Night Spies (Tandem, 2003).—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
A teenage boy becomes a spy in Nazi-occupied Norway. After the Germans invade his country in 1940, Espen goes from a life of school, Scouts and soccer games to delivering underground newspapers. Gradually, he advances to transporting secret documents via bicycle or skis and spying on Gestapo locations for the intelligence branch of the Resistance. Along the way, he navigates relationships with a beloved best friend who has joined the Nazis, his younger sister and peers who share his passion for opposition, as well as a budding romance with Solveig, who wears a red stocking hat signaling displeasure with the new regime. Newbery Honor winner Preus (Heart of a Samurai, 2010) infuses the story with the good-natured humor of a largely unified, peace-loving people trying to keep their sanity in a world gone awry. Based on a true story, the narrative is woven with lively enough daily historical detail to inspire older middle-grade readers to want to learn more about the Resistance movement and imitate Espen's adventures. A selectively omniscient narrator moves from sister Ingrid's diaries to the inner thoughts of Espen's nemesis, Aksel. Preus also incorporates a Norse myth about Odin to shed light on what it means to be wise, the possibility of knowing too much and how to resist shadowing the mountain of hope. A morally satisfying page turner. (author's note, archival photographs, maps, timeline, selected bibliography) (Historical fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419704246
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Edition description: 8-page insert of color photos
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 805,054
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author


Margi Preus has written many popular plays, picture books, and novels for young readers. She has traveled the globe to research her novels and, along the way, has made friends in Japan, Norway, and many other places. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota. Visit her online at margipreus.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Shadow on the Mountain is a great book!

    Loved it. It was great. Its all about when the Nazis took over Norway

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2014

    The best book ever

    its a YHBA

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Bestfriends are awesome!

    Good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2013

    by Cobra fan of Wings Of Fire

    Shadow on the mountain is a story in 1940, a neutral and peace-loving country of only three million people, are completely unprepared when the country is suddenly invaded by Nazi Germany. The Nowegians scramble to organize a military response, then with their allies they put up a fight. But then their allies withdrew from Norway, taking the people's hope of driving out the Germans. A Resistance was formed almost immediately. One year later, a fourteen year old boy named Espen delivers elligal newspapers, he then starts delivering coded messages and supplies to others in the Resistance, and then Espen becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. But Espen and his family begin to question the loyalties of the people around them. This story shows that,bad things can stop us but they can't stop us from living our lifes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    It's okay.

    It's a okay book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Good book

    I am reading this book and i really like it

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Young Men in Times of Great Chal­lenges

    Shadow on the Moun­tain by Margi Preus is a his­tor­i­cal fic­tion novel which com­fort­ably fits in the YA cat­e­gory. This is a well researched and excit­ing book despite its intended audience.

    Nazi Ger­many has swept through Nor­way, unseat­ing the sit and gov­ern­ment. Espen, a 14 year old Nor­we­gian boy, decided to join the resis­tance move­ment and starts by deliv­er­ing ille­gal news­pa­pers, grad­u­ates to courier and finally is sent to spy on the Nazis.

    Dur­ing the Nazi régime, which lasted five years, Espen grows phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally, falls in love and loses friends. How­ever, the life of a spy is in con­stant dan­ger and Espen makes a mis­take which forces him to flee his beloved coun­try in a dan­ger­ous trek through the moun­tains to Sweden.

    Shadow on the Moun­tain by Margi Preus takes place in Nor­way dur­ing World War II and fol­lows the adven­tures of a boy named Espen. As any good his­tor­i­cal fic­tion novel, the book com­bines actu­ally his­tor­i­cal events while explor­ing the emo­tional nature which these events caused.

    Nor­way was an impor­tant tar­get for the Nazi régime, not because of it is strate­gi­cally impor­tance, but because of their Aryan look. Hitler clearly hoped to "marry" Ger­many and Nor­way in order to pro­duce his vision of the ulti­mate mas­ter race (blond hair, blue eyes and fair skin). How­ever, many Nor­we­gians were against every­thing the Nazis stood for and resisted bravely.

    One inter­est­ing aspect of the book is that Ms. Preus takes pains to explore those Nor­we­gians who sup­ported the Nazis. From bul­lies who found their place among the Nazis, to Nor­we­gians who believed they were pick­ing the less of two evils (being con­quered by Nazi Ger­many or Soviet Rus­sia) and oth­ers who sim­ply wanted to get a few extra rations for their families.

    The novel runs through­out World War II, each chap­ter fol­lows the life of four char­ac­ters, Espen, who is the main pro­tag­o­nist, and his sis­ter Ingrid, Espen's friend Kjell, and Askel the neigh­bor­hood bully. Each year which is doc­u­mented is intro­duced with a rel­e­vant quote, either by a Nazi or an anti-Nazi Nor­we­gian. The quote gives the reader a sense of what to expect from the chap­ter ahead.

    While the story is about young men in times of great chal­lenges, the author does not look down on its audi­ence, but pro­duced an edge-of-your-seat, well researched and doc­u­mented work which has lessons rel­e­vant to today's tur­bu­lent times. Ms. Preus also incor­po­rated a pro­nun­ci­a­tion guide (really, how do you pro­nounce Kjell?), a brief and rel­e­vant his­tory of the era and more. I read a proof but I under­stand that the fin­ish prod­uct will incor­po­rate pho­tos, maps and archival documents.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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