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Shadow on the Mountain

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,011 ratings  ·  368 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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Amulet Books (first published September 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  2,011 ratings  ·  368 reviews

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Mary Farrell
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lately, I seem to come across quite a few stories about every day life, suffering and resistance in Nazi-occupied territories in World War II, like "White Rose, Black Forest" (Germany) and "Number the Stars" (Denmark). This is another very good one, set in Norway and based on a true story. It's written for younger readers, still, what characterises Scandinavians seems well captured. All sides are shown, too, even those who joined the Nazis for their own gain.
I should really revisit Norway's
Jack Marryatt
Not a very good book. I was bored throughout the book, there was some good parts but over all I didn't really like it.
Khalid Halabi
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In “Shadow on the Mountain”, a Norwegian boy named Espen wants to help drive away the Nazis from Norway. The book begins with Espen, a fourteen-year-old boy, riding his bicycle to deliver some illegal newspapers. He delivers the newspapers to an old woman who is called “Tante Marie”. The woman finds out that this is Espen’s first mission for the Norwegian resistance, and tells him to make a code name. When Espen decides his code name, the woman tells Espen of the atrocities happening in Norway. ...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 ...more
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spectacular Young adult read inspired by the true adventures of a Wartime spy who just happens to be a teenager in Norway.

I tore through this book and have read it about 3 times total and it will not be the last.
Shadow on the Mountain is based on the true story of a WWII teen spy. It's a fast-paced page turner. The 10-year-old and I really enjoyed this one. Two thumbs up.
Barb Middleton
Civil disobedience is a conscious effort to disobey laws that one disagrees with in society. The protagonist, Espen, lives in Norway when the Germans occupy his country and force the Norwegian King and government officials to flee. The Norwegians formed a Resistance group meant to undermine and protest the Nazi's, while other Norwegians decided to join the German Reich. Espen, along with many others in his town of Lilleby, choose civil disobedience in the form of nonviolent actions such as ...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
Penny Peck
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-ya
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 ...more
Sarah Amelia
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good! Read in in actually a little mote than two days but read most in one day! Kept me reading.
Rebekah Sheppard
Very educational, I never knew about the Norwegian Resistance. A very brave group of people who stood against the odds, utilizing their unique skills, and did not anticipate the allies to free them.
Mazzou B
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quite an interesting read at first (despite some crude and rude things) but lacked punch by the end. SO much that a few months later I barely remembered the book!
Lupinus Texensis
So much promise. Such a great true-life story. So little execution. I have never been more bored by a book about the Norwegian resistance in my life. Have mercy.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I raced through this book. It was a fun and informative read. Margi Preus did a good job creating nuanced characters and she looks at tough situations in a way that is easy for kids to comprehend.

I think fans of survival, action and historical fiction books will enjoy this story of WWII resistance activities in Nazi occupied Norway.
Brandon Clinefelter
Excellent read, can't wait to share it with the kids. Soccer, skiing, and war, and history of a horrible time in our world's history. Just the right amount of realism for a young reader to learn more about WWII and set in a unique region as well. Definitely worth the read.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing and exciting. There should be a second about Eskel's adventures after the war.
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On April 9th, 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Norway, a peace loving and neutral country of about only 3 million inhabitants. From there on out, Norwegians found that their lives had crucially changed, for the worse. One of these Norwegians was named Espen. Espen is fourteen years old, and, shortly after the occupation, initiated his spy career which only started with delivering newspapers. Espen isn’t the only one caught up in Norwegian resistance movements. In fact, his very own sister helps out by ...more
This is probably my third (or fourth?) WWII based book but from a different country’s perspective in under two months. I don’t know what it says about me; that I like to read people’s sufferings? Or that I just wanna know what people had to go through during those times? Or maybe I’m just a masochistic person who reads such books to intentionally feel sad. Whatever the reason be, I’m drawn to such books. I had been delaying reading Shadow on the Mountain because my hands were quite full with so ...more
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book! I am interested in time and place, the atmosphere of Norway under German occupation. I also liked Kjell and Espen's friendship, which was complex and interesting, and I wanted to know how that turned out.

But holy shit, the writing. It's like it was written by a very earnest 13 year old, with all the elegance and skill of that age. The dialogue was very stilted and cliched. Like just about everything Tante Wasshername says. Go toward the light and love or
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should add the CD version for this, because I did listen to the audiobook. Very intriguing book that makes you think, "Why didn't I know about this before?" This would make an interesting companion book for Steve Sheinkin's nonfiction book Bomb. Before these two books, I'm embarrassed to admit that I did not know much about Norway's occupation and the resistance movement. There are many brave characters in the book, and I really appreciated the research Preus did, and the extensive notes with ...more
Mary Aalgaard
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shadow on the Mountain takes place during WWII in Norway. The Nazis have occupied the country, and everyone's life has changed. Espen is 14-years-old when the Nazis first arrive. He plays soccer with his schoolmates and he's in the Boy Scouts. Soon, his scout uniform is confiscated by the Gestapo and soccer games are a thing of the past. Now, he uses his skills to carry secret papers and messages, on skis, bicycle, on foot, or by train. He risks much to fight for justice. Margi Preus based this ...more
Mary Sanchez
Fourteen-year-old Epsen wants to help rid his country, Norway, of the Nazi occupiers during WWII and gets his chance to help the resistance fighters by carrying messages on skis, bicycle, foot, and train.

This story was based on the life of a teenage, Norwegian spy named Erling Storrusten.

When I was a child I learned how the Norwegians banded together to fight the Nazis in the book, Snow Treasure, and now I have more reasons to respect the Norwegian people's resolve because of Shadow on the
Violet Potter
A fourteen year old boy becomes a Norwegian spy for the resistance. This was a great idea, and the true story was interesting! But we never learned much about any of the characters, especially Solveig, who had almost no dialogue but played a big role. It was also slow moving and dull at times. However, I learned a lot from it and Espen's adventures were interesting enough for 3 stars. I recommend checking out the back of the book, there are really cool pictures and a mini biography of the person ...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.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was SOOOOOOOOO good. I couldn't put it down at all. I especially liked how there was a lot of action and suspense. It was nerve-racking at some parts, however, when the Gestapo were too close to the truth. I especially liked Espen when he found ways to outwit the Nazi soldiers. In general, it was a great book that everyone must read.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
In 1940 after the Nazi's captured Norway, 14 year old Espen and some of his friends are scooped up into the Norwegian resistance. He struggles to keep his friends and keep his family safe. As he falls in love, it makes his longing to stay more fierce. He is sent on dangerous missions and makes one mistake that could catch up with him as he sets out on skis to Sweden.
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