Gratz, Alan. Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II. 320p. ebook available. Scholastic. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545880169. POP
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.
This review was published in the School Library Journal August 2016 issue.