Winter is just the right time to read Snow Treasure, which I found to be a treasure of a book. (Go ahead and groan at the pun, but I thought it was cute.) I finished up last night while trying to stay warm under our winter duvet. Man is it ever cold!
Snow Treasure is based on the true story of how the children of one village in Norway saved the community's gold from the occupying Germans by sledding it down a mountain to be smuggled away to the United States on a waiting ship.
The story is told from the point of view of 12 year old Peter, who is the appointed leader of the child smugglers and the nephew of the captain of the ship, who also masterminded the scheme. Peter, along with 12 year old Michael, 12 year old Helga, Peter's 10 year old sister, Lovisa each lead a squad of 10 children who do the two day trip to deliver the gold. To the observing Nazi's, it just looks like kids at play - sledding and building snowmen (to mark where they've buried the gold in the snow). Still, the danger is real and we get a taste of it without so much as to scare anyone off.
I really enjoyed reading about the lives of the Norwegian's, including the shear physicality of all of them, but most particularly the children. It was also very interesting to see how the German occupation shaped itself in Norway. It's a great introduction to these concepts for kids.
Written in 1942, Snow Treasure is still very accessible today and I certainly see why it's a classic. Davan, who read it on her own, enjoyed it, as well. I give it a 9.