Written by: Marie McSwigan
Scholastic Reading Level: 4.9
This is a true story that takes place during World War II. When the Nazi’s invade Norway, a band of Norwegian children from a small village are given the dangerous task of sneaking their country’s gold from a hidden cave – a task that involves sledding the heavy gold bars down a mountain and right past the enemy soldiers.
I used this book as a read aloud, and we all loved it. It was age appropriate and exciting, and made even me wish I could have been one of the children. It gave us a feel for everyday life in Norway and a mild introduction on enemy invasion and war. My guess though, is that it’s a very watered down version of what the Nazi occupation was really like.
I found this website: http://racetothesky.org/race-history/ which gives a brief description of an American plan to invade Norway via dogsled.
In my opinion, this book is one to keep and re-read.
Grace’s Review: It had adventure, snow and historical action. I loved it.
Lainey’s Review: I loved it! It was exciting.
Christian Friendly: Yes
Sensitive Readers: Some caution –
(SPOILER ALERT!!!) The children speak a couple of times of getting caught and tortured. I felt it a little gruesome but typical playground talk. There were also some tense moments when the children are taking the gold past the soldiers, and a fist fight between two men. At the end, the main character (a boy) is captured, but he is able to escape without harm.