From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6–It is 1943 and Hugh and his family escape a polio epidemic by leaving Charleston for the South Carolina seashore for the summer. While there, the 11-year-old considers it his duty to watch for any signs of enemy activity. He becomes suspicious after seeing what he believes to be a periscope off the coast, finding German cigarettes, and stumbling across an unreadable map. When no one believes him, he goes out on his own to discover if the town has been secretly infiltrated. At times, it feels as though the author is compelled to get in as much background information surrounding WWII as possible. This may become a slight distraction for some readers, but the simple, flowing story will still appeal to reluctant readers, and boys, especially, will connect to the protagonist. An authors note gives more specific details about what occurred on American coastlines at this time. An enjoyable historical novel.–Christine McGinty, Newark Public Library, NY
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Gr. 5-8. It's 1943, and 11-year-old Hugh and his family are spending the summer on the South Carolina^B coastline to avoid the war and the polio epidemic. Hugh spends time watching the Atlantic through binoculars, pretending to look for signs of the enemy. Then he actually sees the enemy--lots of them--and the game becomes far too real. At first, he only thinks
he sees a periscope in the water, but as the clues amass, he becomes sure that Germans are hiding in an abandoned house nearby. His parents and his sister think his obsession with the war has gone too far, but he is determined to prove them wrong. Weston's account of a boy foiling a German plot to destroy the Charleston Naval Base is less ludicrous than it sounds, though it has its unbelievable moments. In fact, it's a tautly woven story that blends an intriguing mystery with historical significance. The details of the war's impact on average Americans are seamlessly interwoven into the plot, giving the story classroom possibilities. Krista HutleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved