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For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy Hardcover – May 13, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; English Language edition (May 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385729618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385729611
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,303,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-8-Life for Suzanne David, a 13-year-old French schoolgirl and music apprentice, dramatically changes in May, 1940, when she and her best friend witness the brutal death of a neighbor when a bomb drops directly in front of them. Soon the Germans take over Cherbourg, and the Davids are forced from their home into poverty. Then Suzanne is given the opportunity to help the Allies. Bravely, she risks her life, family, and singing career in order to spy for the Resistance. The pace of this suspenseful novel, told in first person and based on a true story, moves swiftly into action within the first chapter, showing the young heroine as strong, courageous, and clever. Filled, but not laden, with the events of the war, and peppered with French language and the culture of music, this novel will appeal to readers who enjoy history and espionage.
Kimberly Monaghan, Vernon Area Public Library, IL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-12. Teenage Suzanne David is so focused on her dreams of becoming an opera star that she barely notices the growing Nazi presence in her French hometown of Cherbourg, until an air raid in 1940 literally puts the death and devastation at her feet. Her innocent appearance, iron will, and schedule as a singer-performer attract the attention of a local Resistance leader, who recruits her to become a spy and entrusts her to transport encoded Allied messages. Based on interviews with the real Suzanne David (who married an American soldier in 1945 and moved to Tennessee), this taut, engrossing World War II novel instantly immerses readers in the horrors faced by everyday citizens during the Nazi Occupation. The real focus, however, is the skin-crawling suspense story about one of France's youngest spies. Each chapter brings new intrigue and often shocking revelations, made all the more intense by the facts about codes and disguises and the fast-paced, first-person narration. There aren't many accounts for young readers about the French Resistance, and from setup to conclusion, this one resonates with authenticity, excitement, and heart. The teenage hero who must keep her spying a secret, even from her parents, will thrill historical fiction fans. Roger Leslie
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Oh, how I love historical fiction novels based on real events.
Tina Says
I liked the story, I just wish there was more development of the characters and more description overall.
R. Julka
You really feel like you get to know the character and the more you read the more into the book you get.
Lauren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By PJD on July 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I assigned this book to rising 6th graders last summer...most students somplain about their reading assignments, but this class loved the book...many commented that it is one of their favorite books, EVER! Even the boys, who usually moan and groan about female main characters! It is true that the descriptions of war are sometimes a bit graphic...there is a disturbing paragraph about a pregnant woman killed during an air raid/bombing, but it is necessary to the plot and does succeed in conveying the horrors of war. I think the class loved the maturity of the story and the realism...they felt very grown-up after reading it and it opened up days of passionate conversation about WWII, cruelty, patriotism, sacrifice and bravery. It was a perfect introduction piece for The Diary of Anne Frank, which they will read next year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read a book titled For Freedom by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. It is a historical fiction book set in France, 1940 during World War 2. The book was great and exciting.

The main characters in the story were Suzanne David, her parents, her brothers, her singing teacher, and Dr. Leclerc. Suzanne is a strong 13 year old girl, physically and mentally. She is strong physically when she gets her arm cut open and sewn back together, and she is strong mentally when Madame Montage gets blown up with her unborn baby. Suzanne is a spy that Dr. Lecrec has offered her to be. Her parents are cautious and care about Suzanne a lot. They were very worried when Suzanne came home from when Madame Montage was bombed and had blood on her body. They told Suzanne not to trust anyone. Her brothers care about her. They were really happy when Suzanne got a part as Carmen. Suzanne's singing teacher is caring and understandable. She listened to everything Suzanne said carefully. Dr. Leclerc is a man that is kind.

The main problem of the book occurs when Suzanne gets captured by the Nazis and is threatened to be killed if she doesn't tell them if she is a spy and some other information. Will she tell them, or will she not tell and maybe get killed?

My favorite part of this book was when Suzanne tried to hide in a haystack (because she forgot her identification papers) because it was funny and serious at the same time.

I would rate this book with 5 stars because the writing was very clear, it had a lot of suspense, and that it was based on a real Suzanne, which is really cool!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What would you do if you were asked to be a spy for your country? Suzanne was an ordinary girl that loved singing and had high hopes to be a famous singer. Until the tragedy came, the war was nothing to her. Once her docter, Dr. Leclerc, asked for her to be a spy with him, the war really started for Suzanne. As Suzanne goes through conflicts, meeting other spy's and keeping secrets from her loved ones, she learns about life and death, and findes the bravery inside of her.

For Freedom is about World War II and how France was using spies to send important messeges in order to win the war. As Bradley's tragic, true story unfolds, you feel as you are there with Suzanne and experiencing the events of World War II. For Freedom is reccomended to ages 9-13.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on November 6, 2003
Format: Library Binding
This book, based a true story is one of the best World War Two books I've ever read. You really feel like you get to know the character and the more you read the more into the book you get. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read more about the war or who just wants a good book to cuddle up by the fire with during those cold winter nights. This book won't dissapoint you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lovely Reader on June 20, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Story of a girl that is not very old when she becomes a french spy during the war WWII. The story starts out her life before the war and slowly goes into her short career as a opera singer, then in to the resistance. Its a good book and without spoiling it I really REALLY liked the ending of this book. It's written as fictional but based on a true story so some of the events are true. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and you will find this book in the young adult section.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The book For Freedom is an exciting book about a girl who goes through some hard times through World War II. Her best friend is traumatized, her other friend got her head blown off. The girl becomes a spy for her country. She endures pain and suffering throughout this horrible time. So read this thrilling book, I think it's great.
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A Kid's Review on November 15, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For Freedom, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, is a historical fiction story that takes place in Cherbourg, France in 1940. It is about a girl named Suzanne who is forced to see soldiers at every corner of the streets and hear bombs all day long because of the Nazi occupation.

The main character, Suzanne is thirteen years old and very brave. She and her family are forced to move from their comfortable house and take only the items that they can carry. Suzanne is also a very talented opera singer and hopes to join the opera company. The only way for Suzanne to keep moving on is to sing. Suzanne's best friend, Yvette, is not as strong as her and is in shock after she sees a woman who is friends with the girls die. She never talks after that and stares blankly at everyone.

The Nazis are patrolling every street, all the time. You must have your identification papers with you always or else the Nazis will get suspicious. Almost everyone has been thrown out of their house and is poor. Suzanne's father tells her that she can't trust any one. One day when Suzanne goes to the doctor because she has cut herself, the doctor asks her to make one of the hardest decisions that she has ever had to make. Depending on what she chooses will change her life forever and put her in grave danger. She cannot tell what she is doing to anyone. Not her mother, not her brothers, not even her best friend. If she chooses to do the job, she can never back out.

My favorite parts are when Suzanne has to keep herself hidden so that she won't be discovered when she is doing her job. One time she even sleeps in a moldy old haystack on the side of the road with her music teacher because she forgot her identification papers to show to the Nazis.

I would give this book five stars because the suspense never stops and there is a surprise in every chapter. Anyone who is looking for a fabulous, exciting book is in for a treat!
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