Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Michael O'Shaunessey may be the son of the Irish ambassador to Germany, but in 1943, with his flawless German and easy intelligence, he represents the perfect Hitler Youth, ambitiously climbing the organization's ranks. Michael is living a lie; he despises the Nazis and all they represent. He enlisted in the Hitler Youth in order to infiltrate Nazi hierarchy and access information that will assist his parents in spying for the Allies. When a friend shows him plans for the new jet airplane the Nazis are developing, his covert activities turn deadly serious. Gratz returns to the World War II era of his Prisoner B-3087 to illuminate a little-known aspect of the war. Although Ireland declared itself neutral, documents declassified decades after the war revealed its diplomats were actually collecting intelligence for the Allies. Gratz takes readers inside daily life in Germany as well as the Hitler Youth organization, deftly conveying the suspicion and fear that were the constant companions of German citizens. Michael grapples with deep moral dilemmas, including the painful choice to sacrifice one life for the greater good. An author's note offers supplemental information and background on the Hitler Youth. While the book is replete with fascinating historical insight, Gratz has also crafted a suspenseful mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. With short, action-packed chapters, it is a great choice for reluctant readers as well. VERDICT A winning combination of action, suspense, and historical setting. Recommended for all collections.-Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor School District, Lancaster, PA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Michael O'Shaunessey seems an unlikely candidate for the Hitler Youth. It's 1943 and the Irish lad lives in Berlin with his parents, where his father is the Irish ambassador. But both parents work undercover supporting the British war effort, and since Michael attends school with German classmates, what better way to spot and thwart Nazi plans than to join the Hitler Youth? Despite an overload of subplots and simplistic coincidences (the harboring of a fugitive British airman; some easily retrieved sketches for the titular Projekt 1065, a new German jet-engine warcraft; the thwarting of the assassination of a nuclear scientist), readers will nonetheless be caught up by this high-action spy thriller. So, too, will they marvel at the erstwhile teen hero, especially as he learns to overcome his fear of heights and utilize his conveniently photographic memory to reconstruct Projekt plans. A solid effort that evokes the desperation of the waning days of Nazi power and sheds light on the undercover role neutral Irish diplomats actually played during the war.--O'Malley, Anne Copyright 2016 Booklist