Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Historical Fiction
Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II

Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II

Fall 2016 Historical Fiction
Ages: 9 - 12 yrs.
Author: Alan Gratz
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780545880169
Hardcover Price: $16.99

In the outstanding lineage of the "We Were There …" historical novels for young readers first published in the mid-1950s (and still being reprinted), Projekt 1065 places its 13-year-old protagonist, Michael O'Shaunessey, directly in the line of fire in this suspenseful and highly dramatic World War II fictional account of a kid spy behind the battle lines.

Check out this beginning: "It's hard to smile when you're having dinner with Nazis. There were Nazis all up and down the long tables, talking and laughing and eating. There were Nazi soldiers in their gray German uniforms. There were SS officers …. And then there was me."

Michael is the son of the Irish ambassador to Germany and he's pretending to be a member of the Hitler Youth corps. But he despises the Nazis. He's a teenage spy, the son of two spies, in war-raging Nazi Germany in 1943. And, from there, this page-turning story gets complicated-and fascinating, thought-provoking, and cinematic.

When Michael finds out the Nazi's are trying to manufacturer a faster propeller-less warplane that could turn the tide of the war, he uses his schoolboy-connections with real and connected Nazi youths to gain access to the plane's blueprints for the Allies. What follows in his heroic and dangerous scheme to pose as a Hitler Youth member involves memorizing enemy codes, confronting a conspiracy to assassinate a Jewish physicist working on the American atomic bomb, and confronting difficult decisions about sacrificing for the greater good.

Alan Gratz knows how to capture his young readers' attention. His previous award-winning books, including Prisoner B-3087, Code of Honor, and The Brooklyn Nine, are all edge-of-your-seat novels. Here, Gratz creates a deadly-serious plot that stirs with espionage and betrayal, suspicion and fear, and moral dilemmas-and takes young readers to a suspenseful brink in World War II.

Don Oldenburg   ©2016 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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