Author: Yona Zeldis McDonough

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: Sept-27-2016

Ages: 8-12 | Grades 3-7


Book Synopsis:

Marcel loves riding his bicycle, whether he’s racing through the streets of his small town in France or making bread deliveries for his parents’ bakery. He dreams of someday competing in the Tour de France, the greatest bicycle race. But ever since Germany’s occupation of France began two years ago, in 1940, the race has been canceled. Now there are soldiers everywhere, interrupting Marcel’s rides with checkpoints and questioning.

Then Marcel learns two big secrets, and he realizes there are worse things about the war than a canceled race. When he later discovers that his friend’s entire family is in imminent danger, Marcel knows he can help — but it will involve taking a risky bicycle ride to pass along covert information. And when nothing ends up going according to plan, it’s up to him to keep pedaling and think quickly… because his friend, her family, and his own future hang in the balance.



Paw Ratings + Why read it?


An awesome 5 paws read!


It’s a fresh perspective on Nazi history geared for younger generation.  It didn’t sugarcoat but rather the story was woven through the challenges and danger of living during that era. It gave us a glimpse on how it affected not only Germany but other European countries like France, as well.


Marcel, the young protagonist was displayed as a likeable hero, with the courage to extend help, both to her parents and to a classmate in dire need during those times.  It was no small feat, as it involves working under the noses of the abusive Nazi soldiers.


I would love to see this book integrated in the school curriculum as part of their book report, alongside Diary of Anne Frank and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.




ARCs courtesy of Scholastic.


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