Book: The Bicycle Spy (2016)
Author: Yona Zeldis McDonough
Genre: MG, Historical (WWII)
Basic plot: It’s Marcel’s job to deliver bread from his parents’ bakery on his bicycle. And with the French occupation by the Nazis, he often gets stopped. Luckily, they haven’t discovered Marcel’s secret… that the bread hides messages for the French Resistance. And then comes Delphine, a new girl to the village with her own secrets. It’s up to Marcel to help her.
1) I liked the Tour de France references in this book. Marcel, like many kids his age, wants to “train” for the big race. Of course, with the war going on, there was no race. Loved the little history of the race at the end of the book.
2) Marcel’s parents (the bakers) keep him in the dark about their connections to the Resistance. I love how Marcel accidentally figures it all out. And then, how he joins in with his family’s mission, full speed ahead.
3) Delphine. Loved her! I liked the intrigue and how, little by little, we find out her story. By the end of the book, I was definitely rooting for Marcel and the others in their rescue attempt.
4) This book made me hungry with all the talk of bagettes! And I don’t blame the soldiers for focusing on Marcel’s tasty pain d’épice. Yum.
5) I like how Marcel’s ordinary bravery and courage are what push the book. One of the best scenes for me came at the end with regards to his bike (his wonderful bike!) and a flat tire and the sacrifice he makes to complete his mission.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) Not a huge thing, but I was expecting a bigger pay off with the Tour de France. Other than the bicycles used, there isn’t much of a connection. Of course, there weren’t any races during the war, but he could have met somebody who had won the race in the past.
I love historical fiction, and I do like a good World War II spy book. This one is a quick read and overall, quite satisfying.
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…