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Orphan Monster Spy

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A half-Jewish girl in Nazi Germany passes up a chance to escape in favor of the opportunity to screw with Nazis.

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen | Goodreads Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen | Goodreads

Lo menos que me ha gustado son los recurrentes sueños, aunque, en muchas ocasiones, eran recuerdos, lo cual te acercaba más a la protagonista. Right now, history is repeating. The very things for which the teenagers who confronted the Third Reich sacrificed so much are under threat. Resistance has never been so important. I hope that the readers of Orphan Monster Spy will part of that. Moving to South London, I regularly passed a mural dedicated to Violette Szabo – an SOE agent who had parachuted twice into occupied France to help organise resistance and sabotage. I knew her story well, as I’d seen the movie Carve Her Name With Pride as a child, but I was amazed how young she was when she volunteered, just 21, for what was barely more than a suicide mission. At 21 I’d been a mess, not much more mature than I had been at 18 or 15…and Sarah, my lead character, was born, pretty much fully‐formed. The outsider, the girl who fits everywhere and nowhere. My small, young looking heroine needed a mission, somewhere she could hide in plain sight, so the school, Elsa and her father fell into place shortly after, fed in part by my love of the Malory Towers books. A little research revealed that not only did the Napola schools exist, but there were several for girls and very little written about them. Would the Allies use a teenage agent if they needed to? They did much worse before the end of the war. It turns out there were plenty of teenage partisans, couriers and resisters fighting the Nazis, some as young as 12.Through Sarah’s fictional adventures I want to illuminate this time and make it real for the reader. I want them to understand that history, to interrogate it and then question the events of today. Nobody should ever say ‘this couldn’t happen now’ because it can and it does. As the philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Sarah: There are some incredibly dark and dramatic scenes in the book, but the one that stands out in my mind is the River Run. Sarah is challenged to compete in an annual race by the dangerous queen bee of the Nazi boarding school, known as the Ice Queen. If she wins, she may be accepted by the Ice Queen and able to get closer to her target and the crucial information she has been put in the school to collect. If she loses, she’ll be leaving the school, probably injured and with the mission in ruins. And the Ice Queen doesn’t play fair. This scene is where we see just how far Sarah is prepared to go to succeed and to survive, a blow-by-blow account of pain, sweat, blood and determination set against a frozen landscape and populated by vicious characters, that had me on edge from start to finish. Matt expertly shows how Sarah uses the wits and skills she honed scrambling over city rooftops to steal food as a starving Jewish outcast, to now defeat her supposed superiors. It’s pure genius. Overall, not bad but I ain’t gonna bother reading the sequel. It has potential but the elements for younger readers show. Keep in mind even though I end up reading a fair bit of it, YA usually isn’t my cup of tea, so maybe if you’re a YA fan you’ll like it more?

Orphan Monster Spy | Matt Killeen | UK

LoveReading4Kids exists because books change lives, and buying books through LoveReading4Kids means you get to change the lives of future generations, with 25% of the cover price donated to schools in need. Join our community to get personalised book suggestions, extracts straight to your inbox, 10% off RRPs, and to change children’s lives. The thing I love most about this book is probably how psychological it is. It's more than a bit horrifying to see the indoctrination of the girls in the boarding school and how the Nazi mindset pushes the girls to be so incredibly cruel to one another. Even more horrifying is seeing Sarah slip from time to time into that mindset; as a Jew, she's one of the people her schoolmates are vowing to destroy, yet there's more than one occasion where Sarah thinks about hurting or even killing someone just because they're weak or unsuccessful. She always catches herself, but these slip-ups are so well written and truly believable as Sarah pushes herself deeper and deeper into her persona of just another 'little monster.'Would the future Germany have any evidence of its crimes? Would it smell bad and would people even know why?"

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