Genre: middle grade historical fiction
Length: 213 pages
Setting: Italy, 1944
Interest: I chose it for our second American History Club meeting on WWII.
Summary: Paolo’s family is viewed with some suspicion by the Germans occupying Italy because his mother is British and his father is off hiding with the Partisans. Paolo is bored and livens up his life by sneaking out after dark and going for bike rides. One night he’s stopped by the Partisans and told to send a message to his mother. They end up hiding two Allied pilots in the basement The pilots are nearly discovered by Germans, but luck, a tip by a friend, and a sympathetic German officer keep them safe.
Final thoughts: I was not very impressed with this book. It took 80-100 pages before anything really happened. Sure, it told a WWII story in Italy. Anything other than Germany is interesting, but even so it was boring. If you’re looking for something in this genre (family in peril, kid has to step up, be brave, and help save the day), I’d recommend Snow Treasure or Number the Stars, instead.
Title comes from: Paolo’s wanderings on a bicycle helped save one of the heroes of the Partisans.
Reading challenges fulfilled: 92/100 in my 100 Book Challenge
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