Plot: In a sequel to Boy from Berlin, McDonald delivers a fun, action-filled middle grade story with enough historical verisimilitude to meaningfully drive the narrative.
Prose: McDonald displays a strong sense for her target audience, effectively balancing dialogue, exposition, and action. Her central character, while faced with often nonstop conflict, is also afforded moments of introspection.
Originality: An adventure story with truly high stakes, this second in a series will capture readers while inviting further interest in historical circumstances.
Character/Execution: Young readers are unlikely to have encountered a hero like Käfer Avigdor. McDonald soundly develops the protagonist's historical setting, while providing him with a sense of agency and vulnerability.
Date Submitted: August 20, 2020