Book Review of "One Boy's War", by Nancy McDonald
One Boy's War, by Nancy McDonald, is the anticipated sequel to Boy from Berlin. These young adult novels are true-to-life adventures inspired by historical events. The plot of One Boy's War follows the exploits and struggles of ten-year-old Kafer Avigdor as he and his family strive to survive war-torn Europe in 1940.
Kafer and his brother Peter set out to investigate a suspicious American, who they discover speaks German and claims to be with the British Secret Service. The suspense builds as they sleuth the hotel. Writing short phrases in the German language with translations, the author intensifies the exciting plot. The author includes many historical references to the Gestapo. She writes of the deafening sounds of bombs dropping, "the ack-ack of anti-aircraft fire," searchlight beams and the purpose of barrage balloons, enormous grey balloons that defend against the Luftwaffe by causing pilots to fly into the cables and crash. The reader gets to visualize wartime from the young protagonist's point of view. The introduction of some British terms such as loo, WC (water closet), and lavatory adds authenticity to the story.
One Boy's War is a fictional narrative that mixes intensely researched facts with an imagined personal account offered through an adolescent's eyes. This is an example of Historical Fiction that provides a riveting perspective of a time and its events to fascinate middle school readers. McDonald moves her adventurous story along quickly, keeping its intriguing plot always exciting and entertaining to read.
Kafer says, "I was proud to be in England. Proud to be on the side that that was fighting Hitler… I had to do my part…"
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