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Book Review: Winter in Wartime by Jan Terlouw

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Win­ter in Wartime by Jan Ter­louw is a fic­tional book set in World War II. The book is a Dutch clas­sic orig­i­nally called Oor­logswin­ter.

It is the end of World War II and 14-year old Michiel becomes unwit­tingly involved with the Dutch Resis­tance while aid­ing a wounded British soldier.

Win­ter in Wartime by Jan Ter­louw cer­tainly deserves its sta­tus as a Dutch clas­sic. Mr. Ter­louw took a very seri­ous sub­ject mat­ter and wrote a grip­ping, sus­pense­ful story filled with humor and wit.

While the book is geared towards the Young Adult (YA) mar­ket, it is by no means con­de­scend­ing or depress­ing. Quite the oppo­site: part of its charm lies in the  the intel­li­gence, warmth, and pos­i­tive way in which the story is laid out and tack­les dif­fi­cult yet appro­pri­ate sub­jects.

For those of us who love his­tory, we real­ize what an espe­cially hor­ri­ble time was the last win­ter of World War II for many of the Nazi occu­pied lands. The book shows the hard­ships and sor­rows as well as the hero­ism and preser­va­tion of its young pro­tag­o­nist assum­ing adult respon­si­bil­i­ties.

Even though many peo­ple and blog­gers have been sur­prised by the qual­ity of YA books, I’m not one of them. Some of my favorite books were, and still are the won­der­ful YA fic­tion I read in my youth. The genre hasn’t changed, just got­ten the recog­ni­tion it has always deserved.

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