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The Winter War by William Durbin
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's review
Jan 04, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: war-stories, middle-school-boys, adventure, grades-6-8
Read in December, 2010

This is a good adventure, based upon an extraordinary war. 13-year-old Marko lives on the Finnish-Soviet border, the main battleground of the Winter War of 1939-40. The Finns were heavily outnumbered, but used their familiarity of the extreme conditions to hold off the Soviet attack.

Marko is a Finnish ski messenger. He witnesses some horrific battle scenes, as well as the paralyzing effect of the cold. This book does well to explain the technical problems a snowbound army must face.

I wasn’t as interested in some of the side stories – Marko’s polio, Karl’s secrets – but this novel provides a voice to one of the more heroic episodes of World War II, and that’s reason enough to read.

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