Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II
World War II is raging. Michael O'Shaunessey, originally from Ireland, now lives in Nazi Germany with his parents. Like the other boys in his school, Michael is a member of the Hitler Youth.
But Michael has a secret. He and his parents are spies.
Michael despises everything the Nazis stand for. But he joins in the Hitler Youth's horrific games and book burnings, playing the part so he can gain insider knowledge.
When Michael learns about Projekt 1065, a secret Nazi war mission, things get even more complicated. He must prove his loyalty to the Hitler Youth at all costs -- even if it means risking everything he cares about.
Including... his own life.
From acclaimed author Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087) comes a pulse-pounding novel about facing fears and fighting for what matters most.
Michael O'Shaughnessy's father is the Irish ambassador to Germany during World War II. Even after Kristallnacht, the family doesn't leave, and Michael soon finds out it's because his parents are spies. This doesn't stop him from being involved in the Hitler Youth, even though he is not a fan of the Nazis and their reign of terror. Along with his friend Fritz, he goes through the training and tries to be a good example of an Aryan youth, especially when it gives him an opportunity to spy on the airplane plans that Fritz's father has. Things are complicated by a Scottish airman, Simon Cohen, whom Michael rescues after he has crashed over Germany. When Michael realizes that his youth group is going to be in charge of assassinating scientists who are working on the bomb, he knows that he must find a way to stop them, even if it means that people he knows must die.
While it seemed slightly far-fetched that an Irish students would be allowed to participate in the Hitler Youth, it definitely gave this book an unusual edge. This is a great choice for those who enjoyed Osborne's Hitler's Secret, Smith's My Friend, The Enemy, or Bartoletti Campbell's The Boy Who Dared.
Not only does this book provide valuable information about the Nazi Youth during World War II, it might lead readers to investigate more about the Irish Troubles, even though I've not really seen a middle grade novel about that.