Publication Date: April 9, 2024
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Ages 9 to 12, Grades 4 to 7
From the two-time Newbery Honor-winning author of The War That Saved My Life and Fighting Words comes a middle grade novel set at the border between freedom and fear in World War II France, at the Chateau de Chenonceau, where a Jewish girl who has lost everything but her life must decide whether to risk even that to bring others to freedom.
“We don’t choose how we feel, but we choose how we act. Choose courage.”
It’s 1942. German Nazis occupy much of France. And twelve-year-old Miriam, who is Jewish, is not safe. With help and quick thinking, Miri is saved from the roundup that takes her entire Jewish neighborhood. She escapes Paris, landing in a small French village, where the spires of the famous Chateau de Chenonceau rise high into the sky, its bridge across the River Cher like a promise, a fairy tale.
But Miri’s life is no fairy tale. Her parents are gone—maybe alive, maybe not. Taken in at the boarding school near the chateau, pretending to be Catholic to escape Nazi capture, Miri is called upon one night to undertake a deadly task, one that spans the castle grounds, its bridge, and the very border to freedom. Here is her chance to escape—hopefully to find her parents. But will she take it? One thing is certain: The person Miri meets that night will save her life. And the person Miri becomes that night could save the lives of many more.
In her return to the time period of The War that Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley adds a speculative twist, exploring a little-known slice of World War II history, a highly unusual friendship, and the power of choosing courage even when—especially when—there are no good choices to be had.
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