Jennifer A. Nielsen is one of the few authors who I consistently read and gladly purchase. Her newest book, Lines of Courage, is an exploration of life in Europe before and during World War 1.
Nielsen follows five children from different countries: Felix, from Austria-Hungary, Elsa, from Germany, Juliette, from France, Kara, from Britain, and Dimitri, from Russia.
All five are caught up on different sides of the war, struggling to keep families together and hope alive as the war continues longer than anyone anticipates.
All five will have to dig deep to find the courage to continue in the midst of battles, scarcity and hatred – and decide if an enemy is worth saving.
My one – very mild – critique is that all five children eventually end up in the same place, working together. I suppose it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility, but it feels rather far-fetched if I think about it. When I’m caught up in the story, I don’t particularly care – and it makes for a very lovely ending.
Highly recommended for ages 10 and up.