Shadow on the Mountain
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Shadow on the Mountain

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  592 ratings  ·  157 reviews
Shadow on the Mountain recounts the adventures of a 14-year-old Norwegian boy named Espen during World War II. After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway, Espen and his friends are swept up in the Norwegian resistance movement. Espen gets his start by delivering illegal newspapers, then graduates to the role of courier and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo alo...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
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Nov 30, 2012 Beverly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 11-14 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: Best Books for Young Adults/
There has been such a plethora of outstanding YA histoical fiction the last few years, including Margi Preus' Heart of a Samurai, that I had high hopes for Shadow on the Mountain. It did not live up to my expectations. It was okay, but not particularly memorable. There were some great elements such as the conversations between Espen and one of his best friends who is working with the Nazis. Both boys feel strongly that they are doing what is best for Norway. Their conversations provide some pers...more
I did enjoy reading this book. Some parts were very intense, which set the tone for the whole book. You were constantly worried about Espen, and what was going to happen next. Espen was a WW2 spy, and delivered messages, ad illegal newspapers. Just about anything could get you arrested at this time in history, and if Espen gets caught, he could ruin his family's life. In fact, everyone in his family is doing something to help the Norwegian resistance movement, no matter how small.

I really enjoy...more
Penny Peck
A real page-turner, this historical fiction tween novel is based on the true story of teen resistance fighters in Norway in World War II. Espen and his sister Ingrid do small things to combat the Nazi invasion of Norway, from giving potatoes to political prisoners, to delivering secret papers. Most people (adults and children) don't know about Norway's role in the war - their country was quickly overrun by Nazis yet many Norwegians joined the underground, blew up facilities related to bomb produ...more
Mary Farrell
Margi Preus is a beautiful writer and this is a beautiful book. It was very interesting to read about the Nazi occupation of Norway, which I had not done since "Snow Treasure" one of my favorite books as a child. Espen, the main character is an unlikely hero who risks his life for what he believes is right. The story is quiet compared to many books out there today and I'm happy to see the range of choices for kids expand to include a book like this. It has depth and will be treasured by serious...more
Aug 03, 2014 Grace rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: wwii
The book is about Norway under the Nazi occupation, told from the perspective of a teenage boy who works for the resistance. Some of the situations were confusing, such as how the soccer team morphed into a resistance cell and made contact with the right people. The main character,Espen, is likeable in how he works hard and volunteers to help the cause, but is also very scared. He shows that you can be brave but frightened at the same time. I think boys reading this book would identify with him...more
This was a fun adventure/spy novel about a young boy determined to fight the Nazi's occupation of Norway during World War II. I gave it 4 stars because I didn't feel the emotional side of how tragic the circumstances are through Espen. Ingrid, Espen's little sister, displays the tragedy and heart-wrenching circumstances better than the protagonist and she wasn't in the book enough for my liking. Her quiet rebellions were awesome and very human, in my opinion.

Aside from the emotional aspect, Esp...more
Carl Nelson
Very interesting young adult novel based on real events of German-occupied Norway during World War II. Exciting older YA read with fast-paced action and lots of hair-raising narrow escapes. Does not shirk from showing wartime deeds, but they are written so as to be accessible to the intended audience. Recommend for readers interested in historical fiction.
A young-adult novel from a Duluth author about a young Nazi-resistance fighter in Norway. This is based on a true story and the action really keeps the story moving. It has nice, short chapters and at least I didn't know about this Norwegian history and expect that the story will be fresh for young people, too. Now just to get my son to read it!
Jeremy Segal
In the book Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus, a teenager in Norway decides retaliate against the German occupation of the country. Espen spies for the Norwegian resistance, and helps distribute forbidden objects such as radios with his friends. Soon though Espen’s adventures get more dangerous as friends start to help the Nazis control the people. Espen’s final mission entails mapping out the Nazis base in his hometown, but he is recognized walking back from the base, so he must move to Swe...more
Won the Judy Lopez 2013 Honor Book Award this June and is a fascinating look at the 5 years of Norway's resistance movement, having been invaded by Nazi Germany. Based on the real-life adventures of a Norwegian spy during World War II. The author's talk and slide show at the awards dinner was riveting as is the book!
Annie Oosterwyk
This historical fiction novel is based on the true story of a Norwegian boy who joined the resistance when the Nazi's invaded. Throughout the book I was impressed by the author's writing, her well formed characters and the tension she created with the events of the plot. I honestly could not guess whether or not this story would end well for the hero.
This story showed how some Norwegians worked against their own friends and neighbors to support the Nazis and why they might do so. The author als...more
One Sentence Review: Expertly done (which you would just naturally assume from the Newbery Honor winning author) though it lacks that extra little oomph it needs to stay memorable over time.
When the Nazis occupied Norway, they expected to be welcomed with open arms. The Norwegians were the Aryan ideal: tall, blond, and blue-eyed, but they were strangely resistant to being taken over by the Nazis... Almost immediately the most organized WWII resistance efforts began, with resistance organized into three branches: the civilians, military, and intelligence. Preus' book is based on the true story of a young teen who started as a courier carrying illegal newspapers and ended by being ar...more
Evelyn Denherder
This is a well written Historical Book about Norway during WWII when the Germans were occupying the country.

The Norwegian youth of the story, girls and boys, are involved in secretly delivering documents etc. under the noses of the Germans. They often travel by skis and some of their friends are joining the Germans.

A suspenseful and enjoyable read that gives one an understanding of how difficult it was to live under occupation.

The characters are very likable and I can almost imagine being back i...more
Emily Scheinman
Strongest historical fiction title I've read so far this year.
I really enjoyed reading this book. Based on true events and indivduals I was hooked from begining to end. I would recommend this book to middle school readers and above. Anyone interested in WWII would enjoy this story. Set in Norway during the Second World War a young man does what he can, with family and friends, to disrupt what the Nazis are trying to accomplish in their country. I learned a lot in reading this piece of fiction and now want to read more on this particular subject matter. It...more
I thought the basic premise of this--Norwegian spies and resistance workers during the Nazi regime--was really interesting. It also did a good job of looking at why some people worked with the Nazis instead of fighting them. But overall, I found a lot of the dialogue quite stilted and the characterizations to be a bit shallow. Despite such a fascinating topic (based on an actual spy), I was never sucked into the story the way I wanted to be. It's not a bad book by any means, it just wasn't a boo...more
Recently I read the book, Bomb, by Steve Sheinkin. There was a chapter in the book about the Norwegians resistance to the Nazis during WWII. It was a fascinating chapter regarding a nation I knew very little about. I was intrigued, to say the least, as I read the chapter the read very much like an action-packed movie. That chapter spurred me to read Shadow on the Mountain. Although it did not mention the activities written about in Bomb, it was a compelling historical fiction piece based on one...more
Margi Preus has a certain style about her historical fiction, and it works quite well. Shadow on the Mountain is more than just historical fiction, though; it is a true story, somewhat fictionalized to allow the real-life elements to fit into the structure of a well-written narrative. But the essence of the story—the life of a patriotic Norwegian teen determined to usurp the Nazi menace that has crept over his homeland in the early 1940s like a blinding, deadly storm cloud—is completely intact,...more
Ms. Yingling
When the Nazis invade Norway, Espen decides to join the Resistance movement and is frequently called on to carry messages. While the privations of war are never as terrible as they are in some places, the Nazis infiltrate every aspect of life, and the Norwegians never let up in their opposition to them. Very few Norwegians, including a boyhood friend of Espen's, join with the Nazis, because they fear the Russians more, but in general, the Norwegians do everything they can to irk the Nazis. Espen...more
Emmet O'Neal Library- Children's Department
Espen is fourteen years old when Hitler's army invades his country of Norway and gradually imposes restrictions on his people. Realizing the terrible world they will live in with Hitler at the helm, Espen and several of his friends begin involving themselves in secret resistance missions. Meanwhile, his best friend has joined the Norwegian Nazis. The war progresses, and Espen's jobs become more significant, his involvement more complex, his knowledge more dangerous. As he struggles to make decis...more
I have a big soft spot for WWII stories as my dad used to read lots of them to me when I was little and it sparked a, thus far, life-long interest in the subject. I've read lots of books, be it children's books, fiction, or non-fiction, on the war in Western Europe, mostly from either a Dutch, British or American slant. I also know some about the events in South-East Asia as my grandparents were there, but beyond those territories I'm not terribly well-informed. So beyond the fact that they were...more
Zohar -
Shadow on the Moun­tain by Margi Preus is a his­tor­i­cal fic­tion novel which com­fort­ably fits in the YA cat­e­gory. This is a well researched and excit­ing book despite its intended audience.

Nazi Ger­many has swept through Nor­way, unseat­ing the sit and gov­ern­ment. Espen, a 14 year old Nor­we­gian boy, decided to join the resis­tance move­ment and starts by deliv­er­ing ille­gal news­pa­pers, grad­u­ates to courier and finally is sent to spy on the Nazis.

Dur­ing the Nazi régime, which las...more
Check this review out and others on my blog: Get Real.

Quick-paced and exciting historical fiction that focuses on a lesser-known aspect of World War II: the Norwegian resistance effort against the Nazis. Espen is based on a real-life Norwegian spy who started out delivering illegal newspapers as a teenager and eventually became a full-fledged covert operative. Margi Preus does a great job evoking the setting. I felt like I could envision the Alps perfectly. It was also a really interesting windo...more
Alex Baugh
Margi Preus has written lots of books for young people, including the Heart of a Samurai, a 2011 Newbery Honor Award winner. This fall she has another wonderful book coming out about a young boys participation in the Norwegian Resistance in World War II.
Shadow on the Mountain begins in October 1940, five months after the German invasion and occupation of Denmark and Norway on April 19, 1940 and finishes just before the war ends. It is written from the perspective of Espen, 14, his younger siste...more
This compelling book set in WWII Nazi occupied Norway tells the story of Espen and his work for the Norwegian resistance movement. Without being too graphic, details about the occupation are revealed. Care is taken to show the fractures found in Norway at the time: some Norwegians were active resistors, some were collaborators and some were just trying to get by however they could. This idea figures prominently in the story, as Espen and his best friend find themselves on opposite sides of the c...more
This 5-star rating takes into account how fascinating I found the history of the Nazi occupation of Norway. The story was a solid 4-star anyway, but the similarities and differences of how the Nazis treated Norway compared to other countries and how the populace resisted were so interesting.

The Nazis had this total cognitive dissonance thing going on: they thought the Norwegians were the ideal example of the Aryan race, but at the same time thought they were stupid. They honestly thought the No...more
Shadow on the Mountain, by Margi Preus, is just as good as her first novel, Heart of a Samurai. The two books are not companions to each other, but they are written in the same style and are both well-research historical fiction novels for the reader 10 years old and up. Note that Shadow on the Mountain is not to be released until September 2012. I highly recommend it for those of you who enjoy reading historical fiction and/or read Margi Preus’ first book. Shadow on the Mountain is about the bo...more
Karen Ball
Based on the real-life adventures of Norwegian resistance fighter Erling Storrusten, this historical fiction tale brings the battle with the Nazis to life. Espen is 14 when the Nazis invade Norway. Some of his friends decide to join the Hitler Youth movement, but others shy away from that. Espen begins his resistance activities by delivering newspapers (which the Nazis have announced are now illegal), and later becomes a courier, bringing notes and retrieving things for the resistance. One harro...more
May 02, 2013 Jon rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children Who Want To Know A Bit About WWII
Check out my other reviews!
I have read tons of books that take place during the World War Two era yet I have never read anything quite like Shadow On The Million. This book takes place in Norway, I don't think I've ever read a book set there. Shadow On The Mountain is actually based on the true story of a wartime spy and I wonder how much of this book is actually factual.

Since Shadow On The Mountain is a book targeted towards children, I felt like Preus made things a bit unrealistic. Alot of t...more
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