My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 6 Jul 2016
My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck was a work of fiction by author Mary Pope Osborne, whose name I had seen before in the piles of books belonging to my young nieces. Similar to those books, My Secret war targeted young readers, perhaps those of middle school age or a tad bit younger. The 13-year-old main character Maddie had the usual array of distractions for a girl her age, ranging from mingling with cool girls and having a crush on a cute neighborhood boy. What drew me to this unlikely selection from the library was its setting, for amidst the childish theme, she also dealt with a Jewish refugee family, a father who was an aviator in the US Navy, and her discovery of German saboteurs who had landed on a nearby beach (which echoed to the real Operation Pastorius event; see In Time Of War: Hitler's Terrorist Attack On America). To an adult, the book grossly simplifies the war, but I felt that to its target audience the book would be a wonderful medium to give children an introduction to the WW2 period.
I had reviewed this fictional title in its audio book format. Barbara Rosenblat performed well, giving a lively and dramatic voice to the young main character.
My Secret War should prove to be a fun story for young readers. Not yet a parent of children in the middle school age range, I would be interested to find out if the children of any fellow WW2DB visitors had enjoyed this book.
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944