Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
This companion novel to Skrypuch's Making Bombs for Hitler follows a boy who joins the underground Ukrainian resistance in the fight against Hitler.
The Nazis took Luka from his home in Ukraine and forced him into a labor camp. Now, Luka has smuggled himself out - even though he left behind his dearest friend, Lida. Someday, he vows, he'll find her again.
But first, he must survive.
Racing through the woods and mountains, Luka evades capture by both Nazis and Soviet agents. Though he finds some allies, he never knows who to trust. As Luka makes difficult choices in order to survive, desperate rescues and guerilla raids put him in the line of fire. Can he persevere long enough to find Lida again or make it back home where his father must be waiting for him?
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch delivers another action-packed story, inspired by true events, of daring quests and the crucial decisions we make in the face of war.
About the author
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch est l’auteure d’une dizaine de livres dont Cher Journal : Prisonniers de la grande forêt, Enfant volée, Soldat clandestin et Faire des bombes pour Hitler. Elle a remporté de nombreux prix et est l’une des auteures canadiennes de romans historiques pour les jeunes les plus respectées. L’écriture de Marsha met en relief son héritage ukrainien. Elle a reçu l’Ordre de la princesse Olga de la part du président ukrainien. Elle vit à Brantford, en Ontario.
MARSHA FORCHUK SKRYPUCH is the author of more than a dozen books, including Dear Canada: Prisoners in the Promised Land, Stolen Child, Making Bombs for Hitler, Underground Soldier and Don’t Tell the Enemy. She has won many awards for her work and is one of Canada’s most respected authors of historical fiction for young people. Much of Marsha’s writing focuses on stories from her Ukrainian heritage, and she has been presented with the Order of Princess Olha by the President of Ukraine and named a Canadian Ukrainian Woman of Distinction. Marsha lives in Brantford, Ontario. Visit her online at www.calla.com.
Praise for The War Below: "Skrypuch offers a compelling, visceral novel of survival that provides an unusual view of the war... The suspenseful story carries the reader along to its satisfying conclusion." -- Booklist "This story, full of numerous acts of compassion and valor, sheds welcome light on a less familiar battleground of World War II." -- Publishers Weekly"A riveting read." -- YA Books CentralPraise for Making Bombs for Hitler: "A gripping story that asks: What would you do to survive?" -- Alan Gratz, author of Prisoner B-3087 "Inspired by real, historical accounts, this is a powerful, harrowing story of transformation." -- Booklist"Skrypuch draws on real-life stories of survivors in telling Lida's poignant tale, and she creates a cast of young people who are devoted to one another in both thought and deed. . . . A well-told story of persistence, lost innocence, survival, and hope." -- Kirkus Reviews"The story [has a] strong undercurrent of friendship and loyalty; an author's note gives further background on this important piece of history." -- Publishers Weekly "Students will admire Lida's pluck amid such heinous conditions. . . . An absorbing read about the lesser-known Ukrainian experience during World War II, this is a solid choice for curricular ties and for middle school historical fiction collections." -- School Library Journal "Skrypuch has written a gripping, emotional novel of one Ukrainian girl's perseverance during the horrors of war. . . . This is a vivid picture of what youth experienced during World War II and the hopelessness of displaced populations of all backgrounds and religions." -- VOYA
Praise for The War Below:
“The subject matter is powerful and grows occasionally quite intense. A page-turning window into a complex piece of World War II history.” — Kirkus Reviews
“In this compelling work of historical ficition . . . [t]he youthful innocence of Luka’s narration, despite the numerous atrocities, losses, and betrayals he experiences, underscores the inherent risks of choosing trust and hope. This story, full of numerous acts of compassion and valor, sheds welcome light on a less familiar battleground of World War II.” — Publisher’s Weekly