Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
A gripping World War One saga with a strong female protagonist, published for the third year of the war's centenary.
Manon Wouters grew-up in the idyllic Belgian city of Damme, where she spent her afternoons cycling into beautiful Bruges to study nursing. But as Europe--and the world--erupted into a devastating war, teenaged Manon soon found herself faced with unbelievable choices. Would she hide? Or would she fight?
As Manon toils away at the local hospital, no one would guess just how crucial a role she is really playing. A trained spy, Manon gathers information to send to the British to aid in ending the war. Soon, she uncovers information about a monster plane that must be stopped at all costs. As she races to fulfill her mission, Manon must confront enemies at every turn, and face a terrifying and sobering truth: that innocents are being killed on both sides of the front.
About the author
John Wilson was born in 1951 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He did his early growing up on the Island of Skye and in Paisley, near Glasgow. From 1969 to 1974, he attended the University of St. Andrews where he took an Honours B.Sc.. in Geology and never played golf once. He took a position with the Geological Survey of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). In his two years there, he mapped rocks, dodged land mines and watched the country sink ever deeper into civil war. Shortly before he was due to be called into the army, John retreated back to Britain on his way to the safety of Canada. He settled on Calgary where geology was booming and the only danger was freezing to death in January. In 1979, he moved to Edmonton to take up a post with the Alberta Geological Survey. In 1988 he sold a feature article to the Globe and Mail. This fueled a smouldering mid-life crisis and he took up freelance writing full-time. With some success, John mined the experiences of his travels for articles, journalism and photo essays. He even began to express himself poetically and, with a young family, began writing children's stories. He moved to Nanaimo and then Lantzville on Vancouver Island. John has been widely published by a number of Canadian presses, with his acolades including a shortlisting for the Governor General’s Award.
Praise for John Wilson:
• "Riveting . . . has the power to shock and to compel young readers' interest while uncovering exciting history for them. Wilson writes a tension-filled story packed with appalling events that really happened. . . . This engrossing novel leaves an enduring impression." --Kirkus Reviews
• "Teen fiction rarely gets so involved with notions of morality in war. A thoughtful, provocative work." --Booklist
• "Wilson has crafted a compelling story . . . This sense of connection with the past that Wilson's story inspires is one of the novel's strongest features. Recommended." --CM Magazine
• "[An] engrossing, vivid and even horrifying read . . . Offer[s] some startlingly resonant moments for his adolescent audience." --The Globe and Mail