12-year-old Lily is in a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette, as Hurricane Sandy floods New York City. When the National Guard shows up to evacuate the building, Lily's granny suddenly produces a red box she's hidden in a closet for years. Inside is a old, beautiful Montblanc pen and some letters written in French, and Granny tells Lily that it's important she take care of them. But when Lily loses the pen in the course of helping other nursing home residents, her search for it will unearth an unexpected story from her grandmother's past in France.
In 1944, 12-year-old Collette responds to the Nazi invasion by disguising herself as a boy and working as a member of the French Resistance, delivering secret messages, gathering intelligence, and even participating in a dramatic act of sabotage. With the help of Lily's best friend, a quirky pen expert, and a larger-than-life, off-Broadway understudy, her grandmother's hidden heroism, long buried in the past, will be brought to light. Told in alternating sections (2012 and 1944), this engaging book explores a deep friendship during difficult times and the importance of family.
"Lily’s timeline, recounted in a first-person, past-tense narration, alternates with that of 12-year-old Colette, a baker’s daughter in war-torn France, in the third-person present tense. Everyone’s terrified of the occupying Germans, but Colette wants to help fight the invaders somehow. Disguised as a boy, she works for the Resistance, delivering secret messages, counting German soldiers, and even derailing a train. At any moment she might be arrested and tortured, but with her new friend Marguerite, Colette’s brave enough for anything.... The wholesome contemporary survival tale combines surprisingly well with a spy thriller packed with invisible ink, an exploding cigarette case, and all kinds of secret agent gadgets. A quick-moving two-in-one success." — Kirkus Reviews
|Recommended Age||9 - 12|
|Author||Anne O'Brien Carelli|
|Publication Date||Oct 2, 2018|