Author: Rob Currie
Publisher: Tyndale House
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
Educational YA story of the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II.
Thirteen-year-old Dirk has been charged with taking care of his younger sister Anna since his papa left to aid the Dutch resistance against the German Occupation. His mother died one night shortly after his father left and now his older sister Els has been captured by the Gestapo and likely tortured to learn the whereabouts of their father. When their neighbor comes in the night to warn Dirk about Els capture, he takes his younger sister and sets off to make it to their Aunts house in a nearby town. Along the way, Dirk and Anna face many uncertain challenges including informers, work camps, and deserting German officers. Dirk must rely on everything he learned from his father about staying alive as well as his wits if he is going to keep Anna safe.
I love getting new material that educates readers on lesser known areas about World War II. Sadly, I must admit that the most knowledge I have of the Netherlands during this time period comes from The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. So, I was pleased to learn more about the occupation and the meaning behind Hunger Winter. I’m very happy that there are becoming more young adult novels that are educating our young about the past so that maybe we can avoid repeating it in the future!
Dirk was a protagonist that I enjoyed watch come of age. He had a lot thrust upon him at only thirteen years old and took up that challenge without complaining. He become well educated about what was going on around him but still managed to maintain some adolescent innocence. Els was a very strong spirited character and someone that I continually wanted to see escape. She was also very smart to catch her captors trying to trick her into revealing information.
I’ve started to build up quite a collection of YA novels from this time period and my nine-year-old son has begun to really become interested in them. This will definitely be added to the shelf!
I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.