The Battle of Dunkirk
Aidan lives in a fishing village in England. His one brother has died in the war, but George is still off fighting. His parents are grieving Trevor's death and are weary of the war. Aidan and his friend Sally have fixed a broken radio and have been hearing transmissions about upcoming events, and when they find out about the all-call for help at Dunkirk, they make their plans. Aidan's father, quite rightly, doesn't want to risk the family boat in this endeavor, and forbids Aidan from going, even locking him in his bedroom. With Sally's help, he escapes, and the two take off for the action. They are able to help quite a few soldiers get to safety, and even help George, but since Sally has eaten for a while, she becomes faint and is handed off to the care of a family helping as well. The Battle of Dunkirk was a very serious one, and while local fisherman were influential in turning the tide, it was extremely dangerous, and several of our main characters are injured.
Having a middle grade character want to be part of this is a great idea. If parents say no, what child doesn't want to do something? I'm not sure what the actual number of children involved in the battle was, but it is an intriguing premise.
Courageous is a quick pick for reluctant readers who need to have a book about World War II for a project, but are not really interested in the topic, but also for avid fans of this military conflict who have not read enough about Dunkirk. It has very nice notes and glossary at the back, and is told in simple, direct language. The cover is appealing and the story action packed. Hand this to readers of Sherman's military series, Spadlin's Prisoner of War, Gratz's Grenade, or the work of Dean Hughes.