The War Below

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1062 0
The War Below
Age Range
8+
Release Date
April 24, 2018
ISBN
978-1338233025
Buy This Book
      
The Nazis took Luka from his home in Ukraine and forced him into a labor camp. Now, Luka has smuggled himself out -- even though he left behind his dearest friend, Lida. Someday, he vows, he'll find her again.

But first, he must survive.

Racing through the woods and mountains, Luka evades capture by both Nazis and Soviet agents. Then he meets up with an underground army whose members are fighting Nazis and Soviets alike. But the desperate rescues and guerilla raids put Luka back in the line of fire. Can he persevere long enough to find Lida again or make it back home where his father must be waiting for him?

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, author of Making Bombs for Hitler, delivers another action-packed story, inspired by true events, of daring quests and the crucial decisions we make in the face of war.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

WWII in the Ukraine
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Luka and his family lived in the Ukraine, where his father ran a pharmacy and let Luka help with the medicines quite a bit. His father was taken off by the secret police, and Luka ended up by himself in a concentration camp. There, he befriended Lida (from Making Bombs for Hitler). When he ends up in the hospital with a wound to his thigh, Lida encourages him to escape. He does, in a death cart, and jumps out before he gets to the mass grave. He manages to make his way across the countryside, scantily clad and injured, and takes refuge in a barn. Eventually, he tries to steal food, but the couple, Helmut and Margarete, find him. Having two sons of their own, they take pity on him and get him squared away. Eventually, he learns to trust them even though one of their sons is in the WehrMacht and could turn his parents in if they caught him harboring a prisoner. Luka stays for a while, but is determined to make his way to Kyiv to find his father. With the war going badly for the Nazis, it's not safe for him to go towards the city, and he ends up becoming involved with the Ukranian resistance with Martina, a girl who helps him survive in the forest. Once liberation comes, Luka searches for both Lida and his father, hoping that the Red Cross can help him find them.
Good Points
rom the tense beginning, where Luka is trying to escape in the death cart, to the end, where he is able to find some peace, this is a riveting read. Having it set in the Ukraine, with the resistance, adds even more interest to a topic that some would consider to be overdone. As much as I think sometimes that there are too many books about World War II, I know that there are lots of readers who enjoy these books, and that there is always room for fresh titles on new topics.

It also helps that The War Below covers many facets of the Jewish experience-- flash backs to daily life in Kyiv, time in the camps, and time hiding out in the wilderness. I wish that more books followed characters after liberation, when times were especially tense and unsettled. The end of this book reminded me of my all time favorite, Moskin's I am Rosemarie (1972).

The cover of this book is compelling, and will make for an excellent display when accompanied by Gratz's Prisoner B-3087, Bartoletti's The Boy Who Dared, this author's companion title and McCormick's nonfiction The Plot to Kill Hitler.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can Kit’s super-weird superpower save her world? ...
The Brokenhearted
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and...
Brave Enough
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta...
I Wanna Be Where You Are
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a...
The Moment We Fell (Mystic Shores Series, Book #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Nothing good happens when people keep secrets. ...
The Hit List
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Los Angeles Conservatory for the Arts is supposed to...
Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball (Amelia Fang, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A hilarious illustrated middle grade series for reluctant readers starring...
Amelia Fang and the Unicorns of Glitteropolis (Amelia Fang, #2)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a hilarious heavily illustrated middle-grade series...
Small World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Nanda is born, the whole of her world is...
On the First Day of Summer Vacation
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
When school is out, it’s time to celebrate and have...
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants (The Questioneers, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An instant New York Times bestseller! ...
Bad Bella
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bella is the very best dog a family could ask...

Latest Member Reviews

Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball (Amelia Fang, #1)
 
4.0
"AMELIA FANG AND THE BARBARIC BALL is the first book in the Amelia Fang series, a fantasy/magical middle grade series..."
Amelia Fang and the Unicorns of Glitteropolis (Amelia Fang, #2)
 
4.5
"AMELIA FANG AND THE UNICORNS OF GLITTEROPOLIS is ultimately about harmful stereotypes, problems with misinformation, and the subversion of overly..."
Small World
 
5.0
"SMALL WORLD is a gorgeous celebration of growing up and following your dreams. When Nanda was born, her world was..."
On the First Day of Summer Vacation
 
3.5
"ON THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER VACATION uses the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas to present the fun..."
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants (The Questioneers, #2)
 
5.0
"Budding scientists, rejoice! The Questioneers is the perfect series to show you the how and to have some extra scientific..."
Bad Bella
 
4.0
"Bella lives with the McBrides, who have several small children and often forget Bella's needs. She gets in trouble for..."
Dear Justice League
 
5.0
"In this short, middle grade graphic novel, DC superheroes from the Justice League answer e mails from young fans. Superman..."
Shake It Off! (Wish #8)
 
4.0
"Bria has made some poor choices concerning friends and social media back home in Chicago, so her parents have decided..."
Babies Can Sleep Anywhere
 
4.0
"BABIES CAN SLEEP ANYWHERE is a cute rhyming book about sleep. The book goes through where animals sleep (e.g. puppy..."
The Bad Guys in The Big Bad Wolf (The Bad Guys, #9)
 
4.5
"This episode of THE BAD GUYS has the crew planning for a way to stop the aliens and help the..."
Not if I Can Help It
 
4.0
"Willa has struggled with a sensory processing disorder her whole life, but with supportive parents and some occupational therapy, she..."
Emily Out of Focus
 
4.0
"Emily and her parents go to China to bring home the little girl they are adopting. Emily isn't crazy about..."
A Small Zombie Problem (Zombie Problems, #1)
 
4.0
"A SMALL ZOMBIE PROBLEM is a charming story in the vein of A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS and Tim Burton...."
My Funny Bunny
 
3.0
"MY FUNNY BUNNY is about dealing with disappointments and not judging others too quickly. It's the main character's sixth birthday,..."
Kindness Rules! (A Hello!Lucky Book)
 
4.5
"KINDNESS RULES! is a fun new manners book, perfect for preschoolers. Magic Manners, an elephant who knows her stuff, teaches..."
Teeny Tiny Ghost
 
5.0
"Be prepared to fall in love with the tenacious TEENY TINY GHOST in this sweet book, perfect for Halloween. The..."
Solving for M
 
5.0
"SOLVING FOR M is a beautiful and enthralling middle grade novel about finding your way in a new school and..."
A Pumpkin for Peter: A Peter Rabbit Tale
 
5.0
"A PUMPKIN FOR PETER tells the story of when Peter Rabbit went with his mother and sisters to go pick..."
A Parade of Elephants
 
4.5
"Five elephants march along the pages of Kevin Henkes's picture book, A PARADE OF ELEPHANTS. As they make their way..."
My Fate According To The Butterfly
 
5.0
"My Fate According to the Butterfly is probably the first Middle Grade novel I’ve read in a very long time...."