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|Eagle in the snow|
Author: Morpurgo, Michael
In 1940 England, stuck in a train tunnel while German fighter jets fly overhead, Barney hears an unlikely story of a highly decorated World War I soldier who once had a chance to kill young Adolf Hitler.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 188311
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 70614
School Library Journal (10/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2016 Gr 4–6—World War II has ravaged England, including the homes on Mulberry Road. Ten-year-old Barney and his mother are headed out to the country to Aunty Mavis's home with all they have left in the world inside their luggage. A stranger boards the train and takes the seat across from them. After some small talk, the train begins to trudge forward, and they settle in for the ride. Suddenly, a German fighter plane surges from the sky and attacks the train. With the rat-a-tat of bullets pelting the train, the conductor races down the track toward a tunnel. As he slams on the brakes, everyone is plunged into total darkness. Barney, being afraid of the dark, starts to panic. The stranger dispels the boy's fears with a small box of matches. He has four and will light them only when Barney feels he needs the light. To pass the time, the stranger tells the story of two young soldiers from the previous war. The British soldier was the most decorated private of the First World War. The German soldier just might have been Hitler himself. This work of historical fiction, divided into four parts, will leave middle grade readers on the edge of their seats as they try to determine who the stranger is and how this random encounter during World War I could have altered history. VERDICT Another gripping historical novel from the author of War Horse, and a first-rate addition to historical fiction collections.—Annette Herbert, F. E. Smith Elementary School, Cortland, NY - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/15/2016 Morpurgo’s gentle WWII tale is loosely based on a real British soldier who may or may not have spared Adolf Hitler’s life during WWI. Barney and his mother are traveling to Cornwall by train after their home in Coventry is bombed. Another passenger joins them in their compartment, and when the train takes refuge from German fighter planes in a tunnel, to pass the time, the man tells them about his friend Billy Byron, who, during WWI, let a German soldier go instead of shooting him. Later, he learns that the soldier was Adolf Hitler, and he missed his chance at preventing WWII. The narrative is deceptively simple, and while Barney is the narrator, most of the narrative consists of the man telling Billy Byron’s story. The casual tone of the story the stranger tells is in compellingly sharp contrast to the powerful questions it raises about duty and honor. A couple of light twists at the end are not entirely unexpected. Morpurgo concludes the book with information about Henry Tandey, the real Billy Byron. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.