Day after day, Hugh looks for signs of German spies. It seems like a harmless way to spend time…at least at first.
It’s the summer of 1943 and America is at war. Eleven-year-old Hugh and his family are spending the summer on the South Carolina coast. Day after day Hugh scans the Atlantic Ocean through his binoculars, looking for signs of enemy activity.
Then one day Hugh sees something in the water that looks like a periscope. Later he plucks a black bag out of the surf. Inside is a crudely drawn map. Then one night he spots a light flashing from the cupola at the top of an abandoned beach house. Have enemy soldiers invaded the coastline?
Set against the backdrop of the home front during World War II, Elise Weston’s dramatic adventure will draw readers in with its exciting blend of mystery and history. Young people will also respond to the sympathetic protagonist who learns that war is not a distant and exciting game, but a grim reality involving real people and real danger.
“Deftly written, this story manages to braid real history with a fictional mystery, creating a tension that builds from beginning to end. Educational and suspenseful.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“An enjoyable historical novel.” ―School Library Journal
“A tautly woven story that blends an intriguing mystery with historical significance. The details of the war’s impact on average Americans are seamlessly interwoven into the plot, giving the story classroom possibilities. ” ―Booklist
Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Language Arts K-6 Novels) ―Society of School Librarians International, 2006
Agatha Award (Nominee) ―Malice Domestic, 2005
Kentucky Bluegrass Awards (Master List, Grades 3-5) ―Kentucky Reading Association, Kentucky School Media Association, 2008
Maud Hart Lovelace Award (Nominee, Grades 3-5) ―Minnesota Youth Reading Awards, 2010-2011
Volunteer State Book Awards (Master List, Grades 4-6) ―Tennessee Association of School Librarians, 2007-2008
Great Stone Face Book Award (Nominee) ―Children’s Librarians of New Hampshire, 2006-2007
AR Level: 4.0
F&P: U, Gr 5, Genre HF
Themes: Persistence, Polio, Prisoners of War, WWII
BISAC 1: JUV000000 JUVENILE FICTION / General
BISAC 2: JUV001000 JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General
BISAC 3: JUV016150 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / 20th Century