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Author: McDonough, Yona Zeldis
Twelve-year-old Marcel loves riding his bicycle, and dreams of competing in the Tour de France, but it is 1942 and German soldiers are everywhere, stopping him as he delivers bread from his parents' bakery around Aucoin--then one day he discovers that it is not just bread he is delivering, and suddenly he finds himself in possession of dangerous secrets about his parents and his new friend from Paris, Delphine.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 185100
Kirkus Reviews (07/01/16)
School Library Journal (06/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2016 Gr 4–6—It is 1942 in German-occupied France. The Tour de France has been cancelled for the last two years, and Marcel, a young French boy, must keep two very big secrets: his parents are part of the resistance, and the new girl in town, a friend and fellow bicycle enthusiast, tells him that she is Jewish. Marcel must decide if he will help his new friend, even if it means putting his life and the lives of his parents at risk. This story takes readers on a historical adventure as they follow Marcel, astride his trusty bicycle, along the streets of German-occupied France. History seamlessly meets fiction as readers learn about a snippet of life in World War II Europe. Marcel is often frightened when he has to go through various checkpoints, where soldiers question his every move. However, he uses his love for cycling to get him through these dangerous times. The brief histories provided at the end of the story and the glossary of terms offer additional background and support for students just learning about this time period. VERDICT This would be a great resource in a World War II unit. Students will become engrossed in Marcel's exploits as he attempts to save his family from an awful fate.—Elizabeth Anne Ragain, Springfield Public Schools, MO - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2016 It’s 1942, and German troops have recently occupied the small French town where Marcel lives with his parents, who run a bakery. Delivering bread one day, he finds a cryptic message inside a loaf and deduces that his parents are working with the Resistance. He befriends Delphine, a new classmate who shares his love of bicycles and the Tour de France. After discovering that she is Jewish and her family is in danger, Marcel begins a perilous journey on his bike to arrange for their escape. A glossary of terms (cornichons, Gestapo, ration cards), a time line of WWII France, and a brief history of the Tour de France are among the appended features. Clearly written, suspenseful, and accessible to a younger audience than most escape stories involving Jewish children during the war, this chapter book has classroom potential. An engaging story with an attractive jacket, this historical novel is a good companion book for Gregory Maguire’s The Good Liar (1995) and Susan Lynn Meyer’s Black Radishes (2010), which are also set in occupied France. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.