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When Henry Forester is shot down during a bombing run over France, the World War II pilot finds himself trapped behind enemy lines. In constant danger of discovery by German soldiers, Henry begins a remarkable journey to greedom. Relying on the kind ness of strangers, Henry moves from town to town--traveling by moonlight, never asking questions, or even the names of the people who help him along the way. Through his journey, Henry gains an understanding of the French and their struggle; and of his own place in a war that will change the face of Europe forever.
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L. M. Elliott is the award-winning author of several young adult novels, including Flying South; Give Me Liberty; Annie, Between the States; and A Troubled Peace. With New York Times bestselling illustrator Lynn Musinger, she has also created five award-winning picture books. She lives in Virginia with her family.From School Library Journal:
Gr 7 Up-In 1944, 19-year-old Hank is an American pilot flying his 15th bombing mission when his plane is shot down over Alsace, near the Swiss border. Locals assist him in getting to neutral territory. There, a Red Cross doctor advises him to attempt an escape from Europe across France with the help of the French Resistance. Hank's many adventures as he makes his way toward home and freedom comprise the rest of the story. This is a gritty, unblinking look at the horrors that the Nazis visited upon France during the occupation. Hank is a smart, strong, and courageous character who survives under the worst of conditions. He becomes closely acquainted with death as he sees men killed and learns that he, too, must kill in order to survive. As likable as he is, Hank is almost too good to be true. But the real heroes of the story are the French civilians who help Hank and many Allied soldiers like him to escape from the Nazis. There is a fair amount of French mixed into the telling of these stories. While this does lend authenticity, it may prove daunting to readers unfamiliar with the language. The ending seems rather romanticized, but the author's afterword explains that the story is based on some of her own father's experiences. Readers with an interest in warfare and adventure will find a sure winner here. Pair this novel with Don Wulffson's Soldier X (Viking, 2001) for a comparison with life as a young German soldier.
Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Hyperion, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0786807555
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