Author: McAllister, Cameron
A thirteen-year-old French boy tries to save his father's job by inventing a special kind of car, but it isn't easy--especially when the Nazis are planning to steal his design.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.80
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 178926
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 67910
Kirkus Reviews (10/01/15)
School Library Journal (11/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/2015 Gr 4–7—Originally published in the UK, The Tin Snail is the story of a little car—and village—that could. The novel, set in 1940s France, is narrated by 13-year-old Angelo, who pins his hopes for his parents' marriage and his father's automobile company on a car he and his father will design for the "common people." The journey from the drawing board to the realized car traverses as many ruts and bumps as the car is designed to withstand. But Angelo never loses faith—even when the Nazis come sniffing around hoping to find the prototype of the "people's car." McAllister's novel is partially based on true stories, and readers will enjoy looking up facts about the real Tin Snail. The author's experience as a scriptwriter is evident in the well-crafted plot and pacing; scenes seem camera-ready. McAllister effectively turns what could have been a humdrum story about car design into a real page-turner and a daring tale of the French spirit. Angelo is likable, even when he's causing a catastrophe. Even the dissolution of Angelo's parents' marriage and his reaction to it are handled deftly and honestly. VERDICT A feel-good story about the French Resistance that might very well inspire more than a few designers and engineers.—Marie Drucker, Malverne Public Library, NY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 12/15/2015 When Angelo accidentally crashes his father’s brand-new prototype at the Paris auto show, he’s consumed with guilt and determined to help his beleaguered pop come up with an even better car design, not only to save his career but his floundering marriage to Angelo’s mother. While vacationing in a small village near Paris, Angelo and his father, after a few fits and starts, come up with a brilliant idea for a French “people’s car”—economical enough for a rural French family to afford and sturdy enough to transport a tray of eggs over a rutted field unharmed. But just as they complete their design, Nazis invade France, and they must find a way to keep their revolutionary design out of the hands of the enemy. Loosely based on the true story of the Citroën 2CV, McAllister’s debut offers an unusual look at a much-studied historical period, and though it suffers from some uneven pacing and too broad a focus, middle-grade readers entranced by autos will find plenty to like. Black-and-white chapter-heading illustrations are a charming addition. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.