April 20, 2014
9-12 years old
A great historical fiction book set during the first year of the German occupation of Norway, as seen through eleven year old Mari's eyes. Mari is a very quiet shy girl, every noise tends to scare her, that is why on her 8th birthday she was given a very special gift, a puppy. Odin was always there to help alleviate her fears and to help her deal with the realities of this new harsh life, he is her faithful Norwegian Elkhound, he is her best friend. But as soon as the book begins you are plunged into the action, mystery, and secrecy. You and Mari spend the next year with her family and some of her friends as she learns about how to fight the Germans in a way they don't always know you are fighting them. She also learns about the resistance movement and the black market among many other things. Including, dare I say, not all German soldiers are the horrible people she thinks they are? Her older brother Bjorn and sister Lise help her to understand some of the realizations she will need to know to be brave and to survive the German occupation, and maybe one day save her family and friends from certain punishment. But can she be strong enough to do it without Odin there?
This is a awesome book, I have loved this new genre of middle grade books called historical fiction and certainly wish it was a lot more prevalent when I was younger (it might have made history more appealing to me). There are parts of this book you might think are predictable and some are but others will have a twist and surprise the heck out of you, and that is my favorite part. This is going to be another go to book for those who favor Margaret Peterson Haddix's Missing series, or Marie McSwigan's Snow Treasures both of which our local school system favor for battle of the books.