Today I'm here to tell you about this amazing middle-grade novel
FLIGHT by VANESSA HARBOUR
From Vanessa Harbour comes Flight, a middle-grade historical fiction novel about a Jewish boy and a Roma girl leading a group of horses across mountains to escape Nazis during WWII.
Everyone deserves to be free and feel safe, even horses.
The year is 1945 in Austria, where an SS officer and some of his men visit a stable, determined to find the Jewish boy they believe the owner is hiding there. Luckily, just as Jakob—the boy in question—is about to be found, the men are called away…but not before the SS officer shoots and kills Jakob’s favorite horse. It’s very clear then, to Jakob and his guardian, that they are no longer safe there. Traveling through Nazi territory with that many horses will be incredibly difficult and risky, but the alternative—staying—is even more dangerous.
After an orphaned Roma girl named Kizzy joins the pair, the three of them travel across woods and mountains in the hopes of finding safety. Along the way are life-threatening obstacles and an injury that could prove to be deadly.
Inspired by a real mission, this is a story of courage, adventure, friendship, and dancing horses.
This book blew me away! I'm a huge fan of WWII novels, especially thought told from the point of view of children. FLIGHT tells the story of a young Jewish boy named Jakob who had been taken by a horse instructor named Herr Engel and, along with some prized stallions, left Vienna to hide away in a farmhouse. When SS officers come knocking and inquiring about Jakob, Herr Engel decides to take the horses and Jakob back to Vienna to hide in a riding school. Not long after their journey sets off, they're joined by a young Roma girl named Kizzy, who brings more than her good spirits to the group. The three make the arduous journey through Nazi territory to get to safety.
This book can get very brutal. I'm not a softie for violence, but this one took me by surprise. So, if your son or daughter is going to, make sure you give it a read-through before handing it over. Personally, I think stories like this should be told in the exact way they happened. War is not pretty, and the fight for survival even less so.
Kizzy and Jakob are superb protagonist. They each bring their own expertise and skills to the table and despite their tragic backstories, bring courage as well.
FLIGHT is a brilliant story of survival that will stick with you for a long time to come.
Enter to win one (1) finished copy of Flight by Vanessa Harbour! Open USA only. There will be 1 winner.
Giveaway starts: Monday, March 15, 2021
Giveaway ends: Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CST
Vanessa Harbour was born in Bromsgrove, England. She is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester and also works as Editor and Academic & Business Consultant at the Golden Egg Academy. Flight is her first novel.