Shadow on the Mountain
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Preus incorporates archival photographs, maps, and other images to tell this story based on the real-life adventures of Norwegian Erling Storrusten, whom Preus interviewed in Norway.
Praise for Shadow on the Mountain
"Newbery Honor winner Preus infuses the story with the good-natured humor of a largely unified, peace-loving people trying to keep their sanity in a world gone awry. Based on a true story, the narrative is woven with lively enough daily historical detail to inspire older middle-grade readers to want to learn more about the Resistance movement and imitate Espen’s adventures."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"This engrossing offering sheds light on the Norwegians’ courage during World War II. Preus masterfully weds a story of friendship with the complications faced by 14-year-old Espen and his friends as Nazi restrictions and atrocities become part of their everyday lives...This is at once a spy thriller, a coming-of-age story, and a chronicle of escalating bravery. Multidimensional characters fill this gripping tale that keeps readers riveted to the end."
—School Library Journal, starred review
"A closely researched historical novel... relates this wartime tale with intelligence and humor...Ms. Preus deftly uses together historical fact (Espen is based on a real-life spy) and elements of Norwegian culture to conjure a time and place not so terribly long ago."
—The Wall Street Journal
"Margi Preus, who won a Newbery honor for Heart of a Samurai, returns with another riveting work of historical fiction... This fine novel, which includes an author’s note, a timeline, a bibliography and even a recipe for invisible ink, is based on extensive research... The result is an authentic coming-of-age story, perfect for readers fascinated by the diary of Anne Frank or Lois Lowry’s classic, Number the Stars."
"The final chapters, which chronicle Espen’s dramatic escape to Sweden—days and nights of mountain skiing, Nazis in hot pursuit—take the book into adventure-thriller territory without losing the humanity that characterizes Preus’s account."
—The Horn Book Magazine
"Preus makes crystal clear the life imperiling risks that Espen undertakes and the danger to his family."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"As readers understand the risks that Espen took, they will want to learn more about this period. That Espen escaped to Sweden by traveling at night on skis with five different guides should intrigue them.”
—Library Media Connection
VOYA Top Shelf for Middle School Readers 2012 list
2013 Notable Books for a Global Society
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award
snow off his glasses. But he’d clearly been gazing at one of them. Which one? spen listened distractedly to his friends while he kept one eye on Solveig, who was chatting with her friends. Per skied up to Espen. “Did you get the message?” he asked. Espen nodded. “So, you’re ready to go?” “Uh-huh,” he said. He could see Solveig over Per’s shoulder. “Where am I supposed to go?” “Stein says you should take this to Oleanna.” Per handed Espen a rucksack. Solveig had turned, and Espen could see
the mountains. It looked like it would soon snow here in the valley, too, but maybe not so much that he couldn’t get to Leif’s. He thought about Ingrid’s birthday the next day, her thirteenth. He should have gotten her some kind of gift. A cake, he thought, as he puffed up the hill, would have been nice. He also had to think of a good joke, because she was winning their joke competition. He reviewed the one he had heard earlier that day so he could tell it to her: Responding to a loud knock on
the patrols were off the streets. He would just lie down for a few moments, he thought, and then he would go. n the middle of the night, Espen woke. He couldn’t say what had awoken him, but he had been dreaming of the draug. The enormous gray beast circled, swimming just under the surface of the water, opening and shutting its mouth as if trying to tell him something. Espen opened his eyes to the darkness of the empty living room and sat up, suddenly remembering what Stein had said: “If anything
part. Who could know until it was all over? And the important thing was to do what you believed in your heart to be the right thing—no, not believed, what you knew to be the right thing. His father had said once that people could become snow-blind to what was just basic human decency, but behind that temporary blindness, they could see; they knew perfectly well what was the right thing to do. Espen was not going to be one of those people. He was going to watch with both eyes. He should probably
from Kjell’s nose, and Espen groped in his pocket for a handkerchief. Someone handed Kjell a paper napkin, which he held to his nose as he stalked away. Espen went after him. “Kjell!” he called. “Are you all right?” “I’m fine,” Kjell said. “It’s just a bloody nose.” He turned and kept walking, so Espen had to jog to keep up. “Why do you say things like that? Do you want to get into a fight? I mean, you don’t really feel like that, do you?” Espen said. “You don’t really believe the Germans are