Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Special Operations: Dogfight

Special Operations: Dogfight

Craig Simpson
Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Random House UK, 2008   ISBN: 0552556742

When Finn Gunnersen’s father leaves Norway to fly off to England to become an RAF pilot in 1939, his friends all think he is crazy. Norway is neutral and surely the Germans will honor this and leave Norway alone. Unfortunately they don’t, and just six months after Finn’s father flies off to England the Germans invade. As if this isn’t bad enough, Finn’s father is killed in a dogfight off the English coast.

Now Finn and the other people living in his town are doing their best to get through the war. Some of them - including Finn’s mother and sister and his best friend’s family - are also doing their best to make life difficult for the Germans. There is a dedicated resistance movement in Trondheim, but there are also those who are collaborators, and these people could betray Finn and his friends to the Nazis; one never knows who to trust.

Finn has big dreams of going to England to fly planes for the RAF, like his father did, but for now he has to do what he can to help out in Trondheim. He soon discovers that being a member of the resistance is very dangerous, and he comes to appreciate that being a loyal and true Norwegian is a lot more complicated than he ever imagined.

In this excellent first title in a new series, Craig Simpson weaves fact and fiction together seamlessly to give his readers a thrilling and at the same time a meaningful reading experience. Readers will come to see how dangerous life was for many of the people who were living under German occupation during World War II.