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Under a War-Torn Sky Hardcover – October 2, 2001


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Hardcover, October 2, 2001
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1st edition (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786807555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786807550
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,070,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-In 1944, 19-year-old Hank is an American pilot flying his 15th bombing mission when his plane is shot down over Alsace, near the Swiss border. Locals assist him in getting to neutral territory. There, a Red Cross doctor advises him to attempt an escape from Europe across France with the help of the French Resistance. Hank's many adventures as he makes his way toward home and freedom comprise the rest of the story. This is a gritty, unblinking look at the horrors that the Nazis visited upon France during the occupation. Hank is a smart, strong, and courageous character who survives under the worst of conditions. He becomes closely acquainted with death as he sees men killed and learns that he, too, must kill in order to survive. As likable as he is, Hank is almost too good to be true. But the real heroes of the story are the French civilians who help Hank and many Allied soldiers like him to escape from the Nazis. There is a fair amount of French mixed into the telling of these stories. While this does lend authenticity, it may prove daunting to readers unfamiliar with the language. The ending seems rather romanticized, but the author's afterword explains that the story is based on some of her own father's experiences. Readers with an interest in warfare and adventure will find a sure winner here. Pair this novel with Don Wulffson's Soldier X (Viking, 2001) for a comparison with life as a young German soldier.

Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. It's packed with action, intrigue, and suspense, but this novel celebrates acts of kindness and heroism without glorifying war. American Henry Forester, a young flier with the RAF during World War II, is a complex mix of insecurities, unresolved feelings about his punitive father, and heroic aspiration. On his thirteenth bombing mission, he is shot down, having no idea where he has landed. His journey back through Nazi-occupied Europe and his involvement with members of the French resistance are depicted with chilling realism. Small details (bike wheels in France were made of wood because the Germans had confiscated all the rubber) add both credibility and appeal to this gripping adventure, inspired by stories told to the author by her father. An afterword concerns the resistance movement. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 71 customer reviews
He can't put this book down, great and interesting read for him.
Christina Tipton
This book taught a great lesson: "even during desperate times, people can still be kind and helping".
ekati89
The book I read for my independent reading project was Under a War-Torn Sky by L.M. Elliot.
IG

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robin on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Wow! What a page turner! From the start, I was pulled in and felt like I was right alongside Henry, feeling what he was feeling. Henry was a "boy" who was a fighter pilot that was shot down during World War II behind enemy lines. Due to his perseverence and with the help of many strangers(including French Resistance fighters)who risk their lives, Henry makes it back to his family's farm in Virginia--as a man. This war story includes everything that anyone would want-danger, suspense, adventure, even romance! Don't miss it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was fantastic. It was very realistic to war. It showed how evil some people can be but then how nice others can be. Henry Forester goes threw it all.Henry is a 19 year old pilot shot down behind enemy lines. He has to survive a lot to make it home. I suggest a tissue when you read it too. But don't get me wrong its an awesome book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ekati89 on February 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
UNDER A WAR-TORN SKY was so exciting! I loved it because it was always moving at a fast pace; there were no slow moments. There were vivid descriptions of places, but they didn't bog the story down. There was also very good character development in this book; I really got to know all about the characters. Whenever something happened I knew what Henry (the main character) thought or how he felt about it. The writing style was good because it wasn't too fancy and flowery, but it flowed well. It was pretty easy to read, but not too easy and childish. The content was also more mature than the writing (this book is about war, and it might be too intense for younger readers). This book taught a great lesson: "even during desperate times, people can still be kind and helping". Throughout the book, this theme keeps showing up, but it never gets too preachy. I like how the theme was worked into major part of the story; it teaches a lesson, but is exciting at the same time. UNDER A WAR-TORN SKY has a very exciting climax, where you have to keep reading or you'll die from the suspense. The only thing that I didn't like about this book was that the author would get you really attached to a character, and then he/she would die. Whenever someone died Henry would focus on all the good aspects of their character and what a tragedy their death was. Henry would dwell on this person's death until it seemed that they were a real person, and then I would think, "Why did this person have to die? He/she was too good to die in this manner!" I know that this is good; it helps explain that war is a terrible thing, but it was almost too intense for the reader to handle. This book was amazing, though, and I DEFINITELY recommend it to anyone interested in war stories. And for readers who don't like war stories: give this book a try. I think you'll really enjoy it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book takes place durring World War two. This book is about a young fighter war pilot that is the best plane flier that anyone has seen. While he is flying he gets shot down. He runs for his life. He trys to get into a program that lets him try to escape. I think one of the best parts is when he is trying to climb over the mountain and gets gaught by the gestapo. They try to torture him to get information. He doesn't give any information. He ends up escaping. Read this book yourself to find out if he gets home over the long terrifying road to his freedom!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christina Tipton on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
My son is nine and I'm always trying to get him to read books. He's fascinated by war and weapons and loves playing the war type video games. He can't put this book down, great and interesting read for him. Also, he gets to learn real history and what war is like from a more real perspective.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JB on November 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
OK well I was assigned a free reading assignment in my 9th grade History class and I decided to read this book. From the first page, I was interested in the book and I loved it to death! Henry Forester is shot down over Nazi controlled Europe during WWII and has to get back to saftey which is in England.

He makes his way through Europe and has some of the closest calls with Nazi soldiers and police. This book got me on my toes it was so exciting at points.

I would suggest this book to teens of all ages adn adults! You got to read this book and see how it turns out. I hope my review was helpful to you!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katie on May 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
When Henry's plane is shot down during an air battle (in WWII), he finds himself behind enemy lines with no help. Henry relies on friendly Frenchmen (and women) to make it to safety. The brave helpers risk their lives to save him, and in the end many of them are caught. Henry goes from family to family on his journey to safety. He gets caught by the Nazis, tortured and interrogated, but he still manages to not betray anyone who helped him. All throughout the story, Henry's adventures are described with details, making the reader feel as though they are right alongside Henry. It's a wonderful war story. Under a War-Torn Sky is one of the best war stories I've read.
It's action-packed, and every minute I was reading I found myself holding my breath, waiting to see what would happen. I wasn't disappointed. Some parts are sad, some are joyful, and some are suspenseful. I read the whole thing in one sitting, waiting to see what would happen.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to know about World War II, is interested in planes, or anyone that likes to read adventure stories. I think it would be best for ages 13&up - even grownups would enjoy it! So, if you fit any of those categories, READ THIS BOOK!!
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