Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow Treasure

Thanks to additional recommendations on WWII books from 4Real moms, we recently read Snow Treasure and The Secret Seder (thanks, Marilyn), Escape from Warsaw (thanks, Kathryn and Stef), The Little Riders (thanks, Erin) and The Cats in Kraskinski Square (thanks, Irene).

I'll review them all, and will start with Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigan. The kids loved this book. There's something about outsmarting Nazis that appeals to the righteous rebel in a child.

The plot is simple: a group of villagers in Norway have decided to guard a huge amount of the country's gold. Twelve-year-old Peter Lundstrom's father explains it to him:

"Well, it's like this, Peter. There is a good deal of gold in Norway, more than we'd like to have fall into the hands of an enemy, especially one that might use it to make war on us. So we've decided to guard it with our lives. It isn't the gold itself so much. It's the fact that it may be used to bring death to the very people to whom it belongs .... Other countries have been sending their gold to the United States for safe keeping. That's what we want to do too, if it can be managed."

Peter could hardly believe this was real life and that it was he and his father who were talking and not two characters in a book or a film.

And so begins the adventure of Peter's life. He and many other school children, seemingly enjoying their usual sledding, smuggle gold past the occupying Nazis and onto Uncle Victor's boat, where it will be spirited away to safety.

There is, of course, suspense and danger along the way, as well as opportunities for ingenuity and courage. Without revealing the ending, I will say that it surprised us a bit, though it is basically a happy one.

The frigid Norwegian setting left us (and the characters) feeling cold most of the time, making Snow Treasure a perfect book to cuddle up with while sipping hot chocolate (the audience, of course) and coffee (ReaderMom, of course.)


Jennifer said...

I think Snow Treasure will be a perfect add-on to our Jan Brett studies! I was going to save it for January but I think it will fit better now!

Mb said...

I am so happy you liked it. As soon as I read the description in the Chinaberry catalog I knew I had to email you. :)
Hot chocolate sounds good to me as we are snowed in today. God bless!

Karen E. said...

Jennifer, you'll love it.
Mb, thank you!! Enjoy your snow day!

whit's end mom said...

One of my favorite read-alouds!