Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus

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Synopsis

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 Norwegian resistance movement. Espen gets his start by delivering illegal newspapers, then 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, maps, and other images to tell this story based on the real-life adventures of Norwegian Erling Storrusten, whom Preus interviewed in Norway.

Praise for "Shadow on the Mountain": Newbery Honor winner Preus 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." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"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...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." --School Library Journal, starred review
"A closely researched historical novel... relates this wartime tale with intelligence and humor...Ms. Preus deftly uses together historical fact (Espen is based on a real-life spy) and elements of Norwegian culture to conjure a time and place not so terribly long ago."--The Wall Street Journal
"Margi Preus, who won a Newbery honor for Heart of a Samurai, returns with another riveting work of historical fiction... This fine novel, which includes an author's note, a timeline, a bibliography and even a recipe for invisible ink, is based on extensive research... The result is an authentic coming-of-age story, perfect for readers fascinated by the diary of Anne Frank or Lois Lowry's classic, Number the Stars." --BookPage
 

About Margi Preus

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Margi Preus is an acclaimed children's book author and playwright whose first novel, Heart of a Samurai, earned a 2011 Newbery Honor award. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota. Visit her online at www.margipreus.com.
 
Published October 1, 2012 by Amulet Books. 316 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shadow on the Mountain

Kirkus Reviews

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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.

Aug 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow on the Mountain

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Oct 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow on the Mountain

BC Books

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These range in her text 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.

Sep 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Shadow on the Mountain

Historical Novel Society

One of my favorite books as a child was Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan (Dutton, 1942), about brave children resisting the Nazis in Norway during World War II.

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Gr 6–9—Espen should be focusing on winning the soccer championships and talking to the beautiful Solveig, but instead the Nazi occupation of Norway fills his waking hours. The Nazis attacked Norway and quickly took over the country, but that can't break the spirits of the Norwegian people. Espen ...

May 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Shadow on the Mountain

Reader Rating for Shadow on the Mountain
83%

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