Jun 17, 2013

Book Review: My Friend the Enemy - Dan Smith

Title: My Friend the Enemy
Author: Dan Smith
Release Date: July 4th 2013
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd.
Source: ARC from TBD Affiliates
Summer, 1941. For Peter, the war is a long way away, being fought by a faceless enemy. Until the night a German plane is shot down over woods that his missing dad looked after before he went off to fight.
Peter rushes to the crash site to see if there’s something he can keep, but what he finds instead is an injured young German airman. The enemy. Here.
And helping him seems like the right thing to do...
I opened My Friend the Enemy with much eagerness because I don't get to read historical fiction as much as I want to; I don't know why, it's not like I avoid them on purpose. And I also don't know a whole lot about World War II because the lessons at our school only focused on the Philippines' involvement in it. The only personal connection with it that I can think of is that my dad was born in 1939, the year it started, and my mom was born in 1945, the year it ended.

You know something's wrong with the world when twelve-year-olds have to decide between doing what's right by their country or their morals, but it was both saddening and inspiring to see kids being more open-minded and sympathetic than adults. I also had fun watching Peter and Kim's friendship grow in the most uncommon circumstance of hiding a German soldier, all the while knowing that that would only forge a bond stronger and deeper than friendships normally are.

My Friend the Enemy is one of those stories that blurs the line between right or wrong, enemy or friendand I loved it. I loved how it made me question and look at both the good and bad sides of every decision made by Peter and Kim, and how I worried not only that the British soldiers might find the German hiding right under their noses, but also for everyone's safety because of the constant threat of Nazi attacks.

This book wouldn't have been as good and effective as it was if not for the writing that was so descriptive, it was like I'd been the one running for the Anderson shelter when the sirens sounded, or the one sneaking off to the woods to tend to a wounded friend. And just like how a lot of moments in this book hit me straight in the gut, the ending is one that made My Friend the Enemy very memorable and will never fail to bring a smile to my face.

MY FAVORITE PARTS were the last chapter and the letter at the end.


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