Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Common Evil by Vivian Vande Velde

Again another book that sounded interested from another blogger. I had high hopes for this book.

This novel combines two periods in French history-the 1940s and the early 1300s. Lisette Beaucaire, 13, is sent to live in the country with her aunt, since food is scarce in Paris, which is overrun by German soldiers. Although she dreads spending time with her bratty cousin Cecile, Lisette is even more dismayed to discover that her aunt is hiding Jewish and gypsy children from the Nazis. As Lisette and the children practice what to do if the Nazis arrive unexpectedly, she begins to understand the seriousness of the situation. Then she encounters the ghost of Gerard, a young knight who died in 1314. At first he is merely a spirit but gradually he becomes solid and real-and a friend. In an exciting climax, Gerard helps Lisette save the younger children from the Nazis.

There are so many rave reviews for this book that I am wondering if I missed something. I found the book interesting and well written to a certain point. I was confused about Gerard, with no real reason was given for him being there and his background was a little confusing to me.

The historical part for France was good to read about, a time that affected all ages and it is sad to think about what the little ones had to endure in the 1940's. The ending I felt was rushed and abrupt.

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