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For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  846 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
A teenager transforms from a schoolgirl to a spy in this true story of heroism in wartime.

Suzanne David's everyday life is suddenly shattered in 1940 when a bomb drops on the main square of her hometown, the city of Cherbourg, France, killing a pregnant neighbor right in front of her. Until then the war had seemed far away, not something that would touch her or her teenage
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 11th 2005 by Laurel Leaf (first published May 13th 2003)
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The Book Thief by Markus ZusakA Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayNumber the Stars by Lois LowryThe Luxe by Anna GodbersenThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Teen Historical Fiction
157th out of 1,051 books — 2,511 voters
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YA Holocaust & WWII Novels
55th out of 228 books — 519 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,202)
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Panda Incognito
This book was one of the first YA novels I ever read. I was twelve, and the graphic description of a woman's death near the beginning of the book traumatized me and gave me nightmares. Despite that rough start, I really did enjoy the book, and found it both thrilling and fascinating. The story was so vivid, remarkable, and well-told that it stuck with me for years, and I can hardly go a week without thinking about this book and the story it told. I have very strong associations with it, and even ...more
Jan 14, 2012 Elaine rated it really liked it
I would love to give this 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 12 and up, but I can't. Unfortunately, in the beginning, there is a scene where a pregnant woman is killed during a bombing raid. The description is too gruesome and gory for any child to read. (If you want to know what happened, another review on goodreads tells the details.) Other than that one very gory paragraph, it was an excellent book. I so wish the author would have just said that the woman and her baby died and left it at ...more
3.5 stars

Thirteen-year old Suzanne David of Cherbourg, France is concerned mainly with her music studies. She wants to be an opera singer as soon as she is old enough. Her best friend Yvette may tease her about music but Yvette understands Suzanne like no one else. They're only vaguely aware that France and England are at war with Germany. Then one terrible day, Suzanne's life changes forever. Suzanne must have the courage to deal with what comes and stay strong through the long years that follo
Mar 02, 2015 Dhove rated it it was amazing
My grandfather was recruited into the French Resistance in 1943. He was fourteen years old. Many of the details of life in the Resistance described in this book mirror the stories he has told.

My first instinct upon reading this book is to say that it is too sterilized and watered down in an effort to make it "appropriate" for children's lit. I have to remind myself that the girl in the story is sixteen - only slightly older than my grandfather was. The story could have been more graphic and mea
May 08, 2011 Jamie rated it it was amazing
BrBradley, Kimberly Brubaker. For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy. 181 p. Dell Laurel-Leaf. 2003. ISBN 978-0-440-41831-3.

Wow! For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy was incredibly suspenseful. The book is based on a true story.

Imagine you are a 13-year-old living in a French town and your walking downtown with your best friend. It’s May 29, 1940. A bomb falls right next to you and you see someone get killed. Your best friend is so traumatized from the event, she never speaks again.

Suzanne, th
Mar 07, 2012 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school-books
For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is a historical fiction book about a french girl named Suzanne David who has dreams of being a professional singer, until her life gets turned upside down. This book takes place in Cherbourg, France in 1940 during World War II. Suzanne is an every day girl, who one day gets an interesting offer. The town doctor, Dr. Leclerc asks Suzanne to deliver important messages to anonymous people. She immediately knew that these “messages” ...more
Aug 07, 2013 Me rated it it was amazing
These characters are amazing.

I've always loved spy stories and the action and unknown that goes on within them. They're delightful reads, and the previous times that I've read For Freedom that is what I noticed.

This time around I noticed something different though. The characters.

Of course I've seen them before, but what really took me away was my strength and perseverance.

Can we go through an occupation? The material means of one? Can we see our city slowly disappearing? Can we loose friends?
Jan 06, 2015 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those books that I got at some point from some person for my birthday or holiday, and then was promptly set on my bookshelf and forgotten. I can't even remember how long it has sat there gathering dust. Then, a couple of days ago, I found myself requiring a small book -- small books are rather hard to come by in my house; anything less than 300 pages never makes it to the cashier -- and voilà!

For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy is a surprisingly gripping read. Although the wr
Seo Woo
Mar 03, 2012 Seo Woo rated it really liked it
This book is awesome!!! This book took place in World War II, about Nazis and Jews. The character in this book, Suzanne, is a real person, who went through all these events. Suzanne was a spy during the World War II. Her story is very interesting, and it makes you hook up to the story. This book made me nervous a lot, it made me scared when the characters were scared. It also made me sad, or happy, when the main character escaped through the traps of life. I really enjoy reading about the World ...more
Christie Bane
May 19, 2016 Christie Bane rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki Trueblood
Jan 12, 2016 Nikki Trueblood rated it it was amazing
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Gage D.
Jan 30, 2015 Gage D. rated it really liked it
Review for Good Reads
Suzanne was just a normal French girl living in Cherbourg, but on a warm sunny day on the beach she and her best friend witness history. Bombs rain down and kill a pregnant woman who was talking to them moments before. Suzanne and her best friend miraculously survive those bombs. Yvette, Suzanne’s best friend, is scarred for life. She will never talk to anyone again.
Cherbourg is then occupied by German soldiers. They also kick Suzanne out of their own home. They are forced t
Jun 28, 2014 Joyce rated it really liked it
Nice book. It started out a little slow, but the ending half was definitely awesome. Historical fiction set in France based on the real story of Suzanne David, a teen opera singer who is also a spy - number 22. She passes important messages on for the Allies in Cherboug. The end was happy enough for Suzanne, but the harsh fates of others are a reminder of what war brings.
Haley Wilkie
Mar 31, 2016 Haley Wilkie rated it it was amazing
"For Freedom: The Story Of A French Spy" was in my opinion, an amazing informational story. I absolutely loved it and I would definitely reccomend this to those who really love HIstorical Fiction.
This book is suspenseful, heart warming, and tragic (at times). Suzanne Hall, has been through so much the first couple chapters, but feel better. She tries to help her friend, but nothing seems to be working. Not even her friends Mother tries helping. There were moment Suzanne thought her friend was r
Snigdha Rayala
Sep 23, 2014 Snigdha Rayala rated it it was amazing
The book"For Freedom:The Story of a French Spy" is a captivating book for anyone who has loved other books about Nazi and Nazi Germany. This is especially for people who have loved books about victims of the holocaust(such as The diary of A young Girl). I personally loved this book because there was a good amount of suspense as to what would happen.
"For Freedom:The Story of a French Spy" is about a french girl named Suzanne David who become a part of the french resistance as a spy. No one know
Eunhyeok Kwon
Jan 30, 2016 Eunhyeok Kwon rated it really liked it
This book was about a thirteen-year-old girl, Suzanne, who lived in Cherbourg during World War II. A disaster happened, one day, when she was having a walk with her friend. The Nazi airplanes suddenly appeared and dropped bombs in the town. Soon, the Nazi army came and occupied the town. Later, she became a spy and the story tells how she fought for her country.
I gave a rating of four stars for this book. The author used many descriptive words to describe an event and I really enjoyed reading it
Jul 18, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lauren by: Time's 100 Best YA Books of All Time
I literally read this book bc it was on Time Magazine's 100 Best YA Books of All Time, which is a pretty thin recc for my usual standard, but boy, it did not disappoint
Review: I was really glad that this was made very clear that this was a fictionalized account of true story. otherwise it would have felt thin and not fleshed out enough, and maybe covering too long of a time period, but as an altered memoir it was really amazing. This is definitely a book you read for the plot, the charact
 Tara ♪
The book begins when Suzanne, age 13, and her friend Yvette go down to the beach and barely escape being seriously hurt or killed in a bombing.Suzanne just wants to be an opera singer. But with WWII raging around her, it seems impossible. She goes to school and takes vocal lessons, and then she graduates. Suzanne immediately begins winning roles and consequently becomes obliged to run around town for rehearsals, costume fittings, and lessons. Her doctor notices this and asks her to become a spy ...more
Aug 21, 2007 Jennie rated it really liked it
Based on the true story of Suzanne David, a teenager in Cherbourg, France, this is a first person narrative of a teenager turned Resistance spy. Suzanne is an aspiring opera singer who isn't that caught up in current events until Cherbourg beach is bombed while she's sitting on it. She watches one of her neighbors blow up and her best friend never recovers from the experience. Her strength in such an ordeal and the fact that her singing takes her throughout northern France leads the local resist ...more
This is a fast paced tale that that gives the complete picture of WWII in occupied Normandy - from when the Germans arrive to when the allies land. The writing is easy to understand giving the young reader a sense of war, courage and perseverance. A good book for the middle school set (as well as the grade 5 reader who can deal with some violence and stressful situations) - both boys and girls - especially those who need to have a story line that moves quickly.
Oct 22, 2011 Knitme23 rated it liked it
Julie recommended this book, and my nifty public library got it for me on interlibrary loan. It's an interesting story and would make a great companion to Number the Stars, as it tells the story of a French Catholic teenager and her family who live in Cherbourg, France, during WWII. Her father ends up working for the Nazis, running the railroad, despite the fact that the family all opposes the Nazis. The main character, Suzanne, is a gifted singer, and ends up being recruited to carry messages f ...more
Mar 21, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it
This book definitely held my attention. I felt like the ending was a little "too neat" and was surprised when I got to the end and read that this was a true story. I will probably let Ella read this since we are going to Normandy for spring break. There is one scene in the beginning that is very gruesome and grim. That would be the only reason I would be concerned about letting Ella read it.
Eric Busse
Apr 29, 2015 Eric Busse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great for those who love modern history.

For Freedom was a good book, but it was a bit too long at parts. I kept waiting for the spying to start, but it didn't happen until late in the book. Overall, I thought it was boring at first, but it got more interesting once the spy stuff started. (Reviewed by: Thomas P.)
Aug 04, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it
This story is based on a real life experience. It starts out with a traumatic event, the continues with the main character's reponse to that event. I really enjoyed this read. It was a story from WW2 that I've never read about before. It's worth your time.
Michael Domnin
Nov 07, 2014 Michael Domnin rated it it was amazing
Hah! This was such a page turner. an incredible true account of a young French girl who is asked to join teh French resistance. Very gripping, a build up to a terrible climax! I woke up in the night to finish it, I just had to know ...
Full of emotions! Well worth reading.
Oct 20, 2016 Dita added it
Another great story by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley in war torn France. A short read but full of adventure about a young girl in training to become an Opera singer all the while passing notes to other spies right under Nazi noses. Great read!
Sep 17, 2016 Jody rated it it was amazing
You get drawn right in at the beginning what with war and all. This historic fiction novel is based on a true story and I loved it all. I'm really admiring this author! I think girls (especially) would love to know about this heroine.
Feb 01, 2016 Kazia rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
I very much liked this book. Shows how a so-called ordinary girl can help fight the enemy. She did have a talent to sing operas and because of it, it proved to be a good makeup.

A wonderful story. I recommend it.
Dec 15, 2015 erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2015
the beginning is a little graphic for the reading grade level. the story is based on a true story. I wish the beginning wasn't as graphic, so my daughter could read about the tenacity and bravery of a young teen during the second world war in france
Payton Nielsen
Mar 29, 2014 Payton Nielsen rated it liked it
Great book! What is said on the back doesn't come in till the last like hundred pages but the writing is great and with it based on a true story is even better! Absolutely great read.
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The Young Adult H...: For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy - May's Read 4 5 May 23, 2015 10:51PM  
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I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1967, very near the small town that was the setting for my first book, Ruthie's Gift. I attended Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts, and graduated with a degree in chemistry just a few weeks before I married my high school sweetheart--Bart Bradley.

I studied chemistry in college because that was what I most loved to learn, but it's not what
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