An Eagle in the Snow

144p. ebook available. Feiwel & Friends. Jan. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250105158.
Gr 4–6—World War II has ravaged England, including the homes on Mulberry Road. Ten-year-old Barney and his mother are headed out to the country to Aunty Mavis's home with all they have left in the world inside their luggage. A stranger boards the train and takes the seat across from them. After some small talk, the train begins to trudge forward, and they settle in for the ride. Suddenly, a German fighter plane surges from the sky and attacks the train. With the rat-a-tat of bullets pelting the train, the conductor races down the track toward a tunnel. As he slams on the brakes, everyone is plunged into total darkness. Barney, being afraid of the dark, starts to panic. The stranger dispels the boy's fears with a small box of matches. He has four and will light them only when Barney feels he needs the light. To pass the time, the stranger tells the story of two young soldiers from the previous war. The British soldier was the most decorated private of the First World War. The German soldier just might have been Hitler himself. This work of historical fiction, divided into four parts, will leave middle grade readers on the edge of their seats as they try to determine who the stranger is and how this random encounter during World War I could have altered history.
VERDICT Another gripping historical novel from the author of War Horse, and a first-rate addition to historical fiction collections.

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