That Burning Summer

336p. ebook available. Sky Pony. Jan. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781510711723.
Gr 7 Up—In a novel set during World War II, a Polish (Allied) pilot crash-lands in the marshlands of England. Henryk does not want to return to the fight and is contemplating suicide when he is discovered by Peggy, a young woman whose family has been displaced by the war and is currently living with relatives on a nearby farm. When Peggy finds Henryk, he is cold, wet, and hungry, and after helping him to an abandoned church, she provides him with her father's old clothes and food pinched from the farm's harvest. Then Peggy's younger brother, Ernest, learns what his sister is up to and wants to turn Henryk in, but Peggy convinces Ernest to help keep Henryk safe, at least for the time being. What Henryk and Ernest do not know is that Peggy is hiding an even bigger secret. In alternating viewpoints, the young people tell their stories as they wrestle with their consciences and decide what to do with themselves, and one another, as the war erupts around them. The author's afterword adds historical dimension and factual clarity to the events of the narrative. Teens who enjoyed Ruta Sepetys's Salt to the Sea or Monica Hesse's Girl in the Blue Coat will gravitate to this novel.
VERDICT Recommended as an additional purchase for YA World War II collections.

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