A terrific fictional story about the heartache, fears and the tragic results of war on families and communities. It is told in a respectful but thought-provoking manner, not worry young readers or the young at heart. A good family book for parents and children to read together and discuss the storyline.
An achingly beautiful depiction of an anonymous war. Mathilde lives in country torn apart by war. One day they are notified that children can take a test to serve as soldiers. She is one of the ones selected and has no idea why. She comes to realize that with war there are always shades of color and not everything is black/white. This book is so well written, thought proking and a great way of building empathy. I would highly recommend!!!
This is very a timely read, one about warring countries and what that means for people on both sides. I easily fell in love with the smart and caring protagonist, Mathilde, wanting the best for her and her family while also wanting a better life for her supposed enemy- a POW named Rainer. And I have no doubt that Mathilde would hope for that very reaction. At one point she says, "This was the world I was building. Where people didn't think only of the people they loved, but of the others, too." Middle grade teachers should snatch this up for classroom use. It approaches a heavy topic in a super accessible way and is absolutely ripe for discussion.
It's interesting reading this book the same year I read Sara Pennypacker's Pax -- both are about kids in wartime, but they are very different (and both very good!) books. I really, really, really liked this one -- it felt important and meaningful and heartfelt without feeling too heavy for a kid to handle, and it was full of quiet wisdom about the value of every human life. Aside from that, it is also highly readable (I found it hard to put down), and ends on a cliffhanger that has me really looking forward to a sequel.
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