A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

Friday, September 27, 2013

Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus

Title: Shadow on the Mountain
Author: Margi Preus
Pages: 304
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
ISBN: 9781419704246
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
AR Levels: Book Level - 5.0; Interest Level - 6th and up; Points: 8.0
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13591179-shadow-on-the-mountain

In a nutshell: Espen (code name Odin) begins his life as a spy in Norway by smuggling illegal newspapers at the age of 14. Follow Espen's ascent to full-fledged teenaged spy over the course of 1940 to 1945 as Norway becomes more and more overpowered by Germany. It's an inspiring tale of bravery and friendship that will chill and thrill you.

I'd recommend it for grades: 5 to 8 (There's only one part that's kind of violent.)

I'd recommend it to: James Bond and Sound of Music fans, spy novel lovers, WWII historical fiction fans

What I liked most about this book: It's another of those historical fiction books that's about WWII but focuses on a part of the war that doesn't get as much attention. I enjoyed it, but something about the speed of the novel was off. Parts felt rushed, and other parts felt long, and I wasn't thrilled with how it ended so abruptly. However, I love how evident it was that this has been heavily researched. The end matter in this book rocks; it includes a timeline of the German occupation in Norway, pictures of the real man Espen's character is based on, some spy-related activities, and other cool stuff.

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): When they're in their early teens, Espen and his friends build a weapons storage facility that's camouflaged in the mountain. It's a poignant moment when you think about how much life changes in the middle of a war. Most teenage boys build forts in the woods; these boys had to build a place to hide weapons to protect themselves from Nazi soldiers. Chilling.

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 3 stars

1 comment:

  1. After having read some vivid and graphic WWII memoirs in middle school, I tend to be a little hesitant about trying books set in that time period. This one doesn't seem to be very emotionally intense, though. And I do appreciate that it covers an aspect of the war that isn't often covered.