But that doesn't matter when he and his best friend Sally hear chatter on their radio. Allied troops, including Aiden's surviving brother, are trapped in France, surrounded by German forces. The British military have come up with a daring plan to save as many troops as possible, bringing them across the Channel to safety -- but they'll need every boat they can get their hands on.
Aiden's parents forbid him from going, but he and Sally know they can help, and set off to join Operation Dynamo on their own. It's a harrowing journey, and the pair are in grave danger as they help ferry troops from Dunkirk, searching for Aiden's brother all the while. It will take an entire village for them to realize that as long as people are willing to help those who need it, there's hope for a brighter tomorrow.
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.