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Boy from Berlin #2

One Boy's War

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ENGLAND, SUMMER 1940. Following a brush with death in the Irish Sea, 10-year-old Käfer Avigdor unexpectedly finds himself back in London. There, he stumbles upon a sinister Nazi plot that targets hundreds of people in Britain—including the most powerful man in the country. The one person who might be able to defeat Adolf Hitler.

With the Germans threatening to invade England at any moment, Käfer musters all his courage and ingenuity in a valiant effort to thwart the Nazis. But will he succeed in time to save the day?

On Boy’s War is inspired by real people and historical events.

126 pages, Paperback

Published April 29, 2020

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About the author

Nancy McDonald

4 books32 followers
Nancy McDonald began her career as a journalist working on television programmes, which include W5, Canada AM, and Marketplace before going on to become a sought-after freelance writer, penning everything from documentaries to live-action scripts to comic books.

Nancy lives in Stratford, Ontario. When she isn't busy writing novels for middle-grade readers, she revels in Shakespeare, treads the boards with the Perth County Players and works works part time at Fanfare Books, Stratford’s only independent bookseller.

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5 stars
17 (65%)
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8 (30%)
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1 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Jypsy .
1,524 reviews57 followers
September 27, 2020
Thank you Iread Book Tours for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

One Boy's War
By: Nancy McDonald


One Boy's War is the follow up to Boy From Berlin. This story is compelling and insightful with drama and suspense enough for edge of your seat reading. 10 year old Kafer is courageous and bold during a time when most would cower, but for good reason, during the WWII London blitz of 1940. He is motivated to act by a strong love for his family and a need to prove himself. My 11 year old son read this book and loved it. I think it is ideal for the target audience, and I recommend it for classroom libraries.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
581 reviews22 followers
August 24, 2020
One Boy's War is a bit of a continuation of Boy from Berlin. It is all based on a ship and in London, England during 1940 in the summer. It tells the tale of a boy named Kafer who is on a ship to Canada. He ends up returning to London, England.

Kafer and his mother and sibling are on the ship to Cannada. Something happens to make them return to London. There is an adventure for Kafer on the return. The adventures are enjoyable to read. There seems to be a mystery man that Kafer spots at the hotel while he and his family are waiting in Scotland.

There seems to be an adventure that Kafer and friend named Freddy that get Kafer into so trouble. Though I do not want to spoil that goes. This book is a good read. Children will enjoy it. If you want to find out if Kafer and his family make it safe and sound to Canada or not. I would suggest picking this book up.

In London, there are more adventures that Kafer goes on and he brings his brother along for one of them. Will they escape the Nazi's ore will they not. Will Kafer save his family or will he be stopped. The twist and turns of this book make you want to read to find out.

I was turning the pages of this book. I could not put it down. This book is mostly fiction with historical events that take place and with a real family. Any historical fiction fan from middle grade and up will enjoy this. I also enjoy the fact that this book and Boy from Berlin are pretty clean in language. I did not find one bad word in either book.
Profile Image for Adrienne Ashley.
5 reviews1 follower
June 25, 2020
Such a great finish to Kafar’s journey. I loved reading both books. They had trill and history all rolled into one. An must read for every age. I throughly enjoyed it! Can’t wait to see what Nancy McDonald writes next.
Profile Image for LAWonder10.
953 reviews736 followers
September 21, 2020
This was a very well-written and excellent reading for any youth, but is directed at older elementary age and early teens. However, i am certain the whole family would enjoy it. It is mostly true!

The characters and scenes were both portrayed well. the author took liberties in adding some adventure and suspense which enhanced the tale. It is advisable to read the "Author's Noes" at the end of the story.

This is based on an actual events during Worl War ll. It centers mostly on one family forced to flee Germany and the Nazi's.

*This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
Profile Image for Angela Thompson.
408 reviews11 followers
September 16, 2020
One Boy's War Transports Readers to Another Time and Place. While the book is a relatively short one in length--the author makes excellent use of every page to tell Käfer's story. Nancy McDonald launches readers immediately into the action on the first page and keeps the storyline moving to the end. With a memoir-like feel, readers are easily transported to Käfer's world--and will experience the War from his perspective. Readers will experience 1940 London through his eyes and words. The author does a beautiful job sharing the story with a blend of childlike innocence and wonders mingled with the realities of darkness, fear, and uncertainty.

One Boy's War Middle-Grade Fiction that Adults will Love Too. I love finding books that families can read together! The author does a fantastic job entertaining and educating readers while sharing a clean, family-friendly, fictional story based on real events suitable for parents and children alike.

Would I Recommend One Boys' War by Nancy McDonald? I loved this book! The stories and "memories" that Käfer shared are so realistic that I felt that I was reading his actual diary! Readers will love the adventures--and the easy to read/easy to understand chapters. I highly recommend this book to families interested in historical fiction based on real-life events! One Boys' War is the second book in a series--but I read it out of order without realizing it! Now that I have read both books, I would recommend reading them in order simply to keep the time frame in an ordered context--but the storytelling of each book allows for a full story in each novel for readers to love!

I received a copy of this book from the author or publisher for use in a blog review. All opinions are my own.
483 reviews10 followers
September 23, 2020
One Boy’s War is the continuation of the incredible journey started in Boy from Berlin. The novel follows the story of Käfer and his family as they escape the terrors of World War II.

Käfer is a very special child – he is full of curiosity and wants nothing more than to help his family. His curious and adventurous personality has helped save his family many times and he is determined to ensure their safety as the family struggles to find freedom. While the family has made it to safety in England, they realize the Nazis will not leave them alone and they decide that they need an ocean to separate them. The family makes the difficult decision to immigrate to Canada – a journey that is full of many dangers (submarines, robberies, and more!) but will they make it there or be stuck in England for the remainder of the war?

I loved the fast paced plot which is told from Käfer’s viewpoint. Young readers and adults can relate to his character, he wants nothing more than to help his family but because of his age, he can sometimes be brushed off. He has this innocence about him and I love the way he sees the world (it reminds me of my own kids). He understands right from wrong but in the context of World War II, it so hard to understand how people could do something so horrible. We watch as he has to make decisions throughout the novel between what he is told he should do and what he actually does. Each one of these moments is an important lesson for him as he grows morally and mentally.

His courage and story is captivating – I could not stop reading the novel. Readers are taken on an exciting journey of courage, heartbreak, healing and adventure. Young adults and adults will fall in love with both the characters and story, a fantastic sequel to Boy From Berlin.
1,561 reviews20 followers
September 19, 2020

One boys is the exciting sequel to Boy from Berlin. We get to know more of Käfer’s story in this book. He gets more involved than before in his family, as well as England. And being a middle grade book this is great for the young reader and adults alike.

I enjoyed this book just as much as the first book in this series. Author Nancy McDonald does a fantastic job of describing each scene in this book to make readers, and made me feel like I was in England back in the early 1940’s. The characters were engaging, and they all played their parts well throughout the story. I couldn’t put this book down. It is a short story and can be read in one sitting, as I did. Or it can be read by chapter, whatever you have time for works!

Nancy McDonald did a very good job writing this book as well as the first book. Her writing skills were amazing, and she was able to pack a lot of intriguing information into one short book. If you enjoy war stories, this is a must read! I highly encourage you to check out One Boy’s War as well as Boy from Berlin! You can’t go wrong with either book!! This book gets 5 stars  from me!

A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

July 21, 2020
Boom!!! Page one, paragraph one…. 10-year-old Kafer Avigdor is blown out of bed into the stormy North Atlantic Ocean in the middle of the night by a Nazi U-Boat torpedo. Hitler has conquered Western Europe and is about to invade England… Western civilization is at stake… It’s 1940… the world is in crisis… it’s a time for heroes and Kafer becomes a relentless hero for the entire 124 pages of One Boy’s War.

Author Nancy McDonald documents the critical events of 1940 and the exploits of two heroes who at vastly different levels, rose to the occasion. The two heroes are Winston Churchill who is for real and Kafer who is fictitious but inspired by a real person. McDonald’s journalism career in Canadian television network news and current affairs has served her well. She has delivered a page turner loaded with suspense, meticulous research, vivid imagination and clear writing.

The timing for this thriller may be perfect. If 1940 was a perilous time, how about 2020? Right now! The world today is dealing with two potentially catastrophic pandemic issues… coronavirus and climate change. Like 1940, it’s a time for heroes!

Ronald Laplante
(Ret) CBC Journalist
(Ret) Associate Professor of Radio Television Journalism at Western University
5,552 reviews
September 22, 2020
One Boy's War is the second installment from the Boy from Berlin series from Nancy McDonald. I had the pleasure of reading the first book of the series, also, titled Boy from Berlin and really enjoyed. After reading it, I jumped at the chance to reading this one. I was not disappointed. I thought it was a great and quick read.

One Boy’s War continues the story of ten year old Käfer Avigdor in 1940 London. I adored Käfer and admired his courage and bravery throughout the story. He finds himself in quite a bit of danger. I enjoyed taking a ride on this adventure. I did not find it predictable. I never knew what was going to happen next. It was able to hold my attention from start to finish. I had no problem having the whole book read in one sitting. The historical details was vivid that made me feel part of the story.

I am giving One Boy’s War four and a half stars. I hope there will be future books added to the Boy from Berlin series. Since this it is part of a series, I do believe it would be best to read the first book before starting this one. I recommend it for readers who are eight to twelve years old who are into historical fiction. My two children in that age range enjoyed it, especially my eight year old son.

I received One Boy’s War from the publisher. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.
1 review
May 3, 2020
Moving on from where her excellent Boy From Berlin left off, author Nancy McDonald continues the amazing story of Käfer Avigdor as he continues his perilous journey from inside Nazi Germany to the safety of a new life in Canada. When Boy From Berlin ended, Käfer and his family had managed to arrive in England midway to their final Canadian destination. In Käfer, McDonald has created an unforgettable character who typifies the pluck of youth, the courage of a lion and the heart of an angel. His determination to subdue the evils of Hitler's Germany is astounding ... surviving unspeakable perils at sea, the tragic loss of two friends and the wicked plotting of Nazi double-agents.
In this, her second novel devoted to the Avigdor family (based on actual events), McDonald has created a rousing page-turner while at the same time immersing us in the compelling history of the political and social upheaval of 1940s England.
Meticulously researched and told with the skill of a born story-teller, One Boy's War will appeal to both young and less young readers as it recreates the drama, heartbreak and stolen victories of a troubled time.
Profile Image for Connie Hill.
1,571 reviews30 followers
October 2, 2020
My 9 year old son and I read this book together. We really enjoyed it. It sparked a lot of good conversation and a lot of questions to the Holocaust. This is the second book in the series - and it picks up where "Boy from Berlin" leaves off. Kafer is now 10 - and braver then some of the adults. He finds himself in a bit of danger - and shows courage through out.

The war is still waging on. Kafer is on a ship - heading to Canada - and an event turns them around and brings them back to London. Packed full of historical accuracy, my son took a real interest in learning more about WWII and the events in this book. As a military historian, this made my heart happy.
This book is well researched, well written and is geared toward middle grades. My son is in 4th grade and we took turns reading the book outloud. There were some words he struggled with. His 7 year old brother listed for part of it.

I received a copy of this book through the IreadTours blogging program. All thoughts are my own.
3 reviews
May 19, 2020
Just finished reading this delightful book. It reads like a detective story with lots of suspense perfectly suitable for people of all ages not just young readers. I liked the way the author brings in historical figures like Churchill giving one of his most memorable speeches and historical land marks like the Claridge Hotel. The book is full of wonderful fictional characters like lady Eaton or the purser on the ship the boy hero with his sister are taking to Canada. Though there is much merriment there is also a more serious issue that the author handles with remarkable skill. Of course, this is wartime and Hitler is hellbent on destroying the Jewish population of Europe. On this subject, Ms. McDonald is subtle, factual and convincing. A very enjoyable book indeed. Highly recommended.
Thomas R Verny MD, author of The Secret Life of the Unborn Child
2 reviews
May 11, 2020
This second adventure featuring the young hero Kafer Avigdor is a wonderful story that will appeal to young readers, both boys and girls, providing a glimpse of wartime England from a child's perspective. Kafer is a most engaging young hero, loving and loyal to his family and friends, impetuous and brave in the face of challenges, and mischievous enough to get himself into situations from which he is lucky to escape safely! The settings, including London's elegant Claridge's Hotel, give the reader a glimpse into privileged life during the second world war. I hope Ms. McDonald treats us to at least one more episode in young Kafer's life as he, along with his family, travels to safety in Canada.
Profile Image for Stephanie Ward.
Author 3 books82 followers
September 30, 2020
Weaving a wonderful combination of fictional storytelling with historical events, One Boy's War is at once exciting and saddening, heart-racing and sobering.

Tragedy strikes the Avigdor family from multiple angles in this continuation of the story of their escape from Hitler's reach. While the realities of war hit close to home, the author expertly communicates these atrocities in a gentle manner. The emotional effects are conveyed differently in each of the children showing how they handled their sadness in unique ways which was refreshingly realistic.

I really enjoyed reading the second book in this series and learning the fate of the Avigdor family. It's a fascinating story that is well-told for the intended audience. I look forward to more middle grade books from Nancy McDonald.
1 review
May 4, 2020
Thoroughly enjoyed this second instalment of Kafer and his family as they experience life in London England at the beginning of Hitler’s bombing of the City. A perfect sequel for ‘Boy from Berlin’ picking up where that book ended.
Nancy McDonald’s story-writing in both books makes it hard to put them down - both filled with detailed descriptions that put you right beside Kafer as he wages his own war gains Hitler and Germany to protect his family.
Hoping for a third instalment of the Avigdor family that will tell of Kafer’s life as his family lands in Canada during WW2 and experience life where it is ‘safe’.
1 review
April 28, 2020
I have just finished a preview copy of this book and had to share how good of a read it is. This novel brings history to life with a compelling storyline full of twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would highly recommend it to many readers. It is a great addition to the first book Boy From Berlin, but it would also be enjoyable to read on its own. Overall great book with intruging characters and a captivating plot.
2 reviews
May 20, 2020
One Boy’s War is a gripping adventure wrapped up in a crucial lesson in 20th Century history. It follows its 10-year-old hero, the brave and curious Kafer, from where we left him in the equally exciting Boy from Berlin. Kafer is desperate for the good opinion of his often disapproving father. How he finally gets it is a page-turning tale of Nazi wickedness defeated by a young boy’s extraordinary pluck and his love for his family.

M. Slaght
2 reviews
July 21, 2020
Nancy McDonald has written another riveting historical fiction page turner that traces a courageous boy’s journey during the Second World War. The young hero of “Boy from Berlin” seamlessly transitions from the last words of this wonderful book to the opening of “One Boy's War” to continue his saga amidst the blitz and devastation of London. This engaging sequel is must read for audiences of all ages.

Margaret Newland
May 8, 2020
Just finished reading this charming sequel to " Boy From Berlin"..."One Boy's War" continues to subtly educate about World War II history and the perils faced by the Jewish people, while delighting its young readers with Kafer's continuing spy-hunting adventures. A great way to start a conversation with the young ones in your orbit !
Profile Image for Bill.
Author 1 book1 follower
May 23, 2020
An exciting adventure filled with intriguing characters. Part Hardy Boys adventure and part family drama set in London during the WWII blitz, a young boy discovers what it means to be Jewish. McDonald’s cinematic writing style makes One Boy’s War an easy-to-gobble-up, engrossing story for readers of all ages. Highly recommended!
3 reviews
June 24, 2020
A great, heart-thumping, follow-up to The Boy From Berlin filled with adventure, humour, and a loving tribute to individuals and families who survived the horrors of WWII. The author fills the book with a vivid sense of place and atmosphere. These books would make such a wonderful film or television series. An enormously pleasurable and enlightening read.
20 reviews
June 22, 2020
McDonald's followup to "Boy from Berlin" was another delightful read. Lots of action, intrigue, and a likeable, impetuous young hero. I enjoyed it and think the pre-teen audience it's aimed for will love it too.
Author 1 book5 followers
May 14, 2021
One enters Kafer's world from the first page, seeing the horror of the war from the viewpoint of - in spite of everything - an adventure-loving young boy. The weaving of historical elements into the family portrait works really well - a captivating read.
Profile Image for Rose (Adventurous Bookworm).
819 reviews110 followers
September 15, 2020
This was a fun middle-grade mystery that had me intrigued throughout the course of the whole novel.
I enjoyed seeing the siblings interact. As a reader of mostly adult and young adult, I rarely get to see siblings with all of their arguing and banter so it was a fun change of pace.
The only complaint I have was that some of the German was incorrect. The words were correct but German has some grammar rules that are different from English and those were not taken into consideration.
Overall, if you or a younger reader are looking for a historical story sure to please, I'd recommend picking up One Boy's War.

Rating: 4/5
Language: n/a
Romance: n/a
Spiritual: the family is Jewish and fleeing Nazi Germany
Violence: the ship the family was on was torpedoed

*I received a copy of this book from the author. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews

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