I’ve loved historical fiction about World War II since I was first reading chapter books. One of my all-time favorites as a kid was Snow Treasure, a story about kids who foil the Nazis by sneaking gold out of the country on their sleds. Over the years, I’ve also read a lot of nonfiction on the topic, everything from Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts to Double Cross by Ben Macintyre and quite a lot in between. I also have a fondness for World War II era mysteries – everything from the Foyle’s War TV series to the Bernie Gunther novels of Philip Kerr, Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series (which actually starts at the end of World War I) and the Maggie Hope mysteries by Susan Elia MacNeal.
So it’s no surprise that I loved The Saboteur: the Aristrocrat who Became France’s Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando by Paul Kix. French Resistance, Nazis, escaping certain death several times – I’m there! The story of Robert de La Rochefoucauld reads like a spy novel instead of a series of documented life events, which has ensured that I’ve suggested it to all of my patrons who like reading about spies, war, or French history. It’s also a wonderful book, because it addresses the gray areas in which people exist during war. Not everyone is 100% good or bad; there are compromises and bad decisions in addition to all of the luck and occasional happy endings.
While I can see many adults and even some teens enjoying this book, you might also consider some fictional favorites of mine on similar topics. Some are specifically for younger readers; others work for many ages.