From School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-This sequel to The Romeo and Juliet Code (Scholastic, 2011) can stand alone as a great World War II story. Felicity B. Bathburn longs for the safety and security of her own home. It's been almost two years since she left London to stay with her grandmother in the rambling house on the coast of Maine. She holds onto memories of her mother and creates conversations and letters in her mind that she would send if only she knew an address. Her American family has secrets of its own and Flissy has learned not to offer explanations or talk about her parents' or uncle's work. The family welcomed her just as they welcomed the orphaned Derek, now 13, who was just a baby when The Gram's son brought him into their home. Flissy is the first one to be suspicious when a man claiming to be Derek's father comes to town and attempts to gain access to the family's secrets and come between the two young teens who are struggling to make sense of the world around them. A Nazi uniform hangs in her uncle's closet and conversations in German become a late-night ritual. Through a series of hidden messages and shortwave-radio broadcasts, Flissy unwittingly learns the true meaning of perseverance and just how much some people will sacrifice when faced with an unbearable truth. Readers will get caught up in this story of young love, espionage, and war-torn families while still far away from the frontlines of the battlefield.-Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* This absorbing follow-up to The Romeo and Juliet Code (2011) picks up with the Bathburns in Bottlebay, Maine, one year later and with WWII in full swing. Flissy hasn’t heard a word from her parents, who are spies missing in Europe, but keeps herself occupied with her love interest, Derek, the boy the Bathburns unofficially adopted. When a man shows up claiming to be Derek’s long-lost father, Flissy struggles to keep her suspicions about him to herself. Soon, Mr. Henley, the local postman and poet, is called for duty in North Africa; Aunt Miami joins a USO traveling production of Romeo and Juliet; and Gideon, Flissy’s biological father, undertakes a secret mission. Intrigue and mysteries abound: Who is “the Moth Man”? What is Gideon doing in France? Will everyone come home alive? Our 13-year-old narrator captures the effect of the upheaval on her life and her family as she transitions, perhaps prematurely owing to her circumstances, from child to adult. Stone evokes time and place beautifully, with descriptions of blackout curtains and the war effort—not to mention the stormy coast of Maine—and her passages about war feel relevant today (“Here in such a lush and green world, why do people hurt and kill one another and why is there such a thing as war?”) Compelling, and with plenty of heart and soul. Grades 5-8. --Ann Kelley