Review / Lines of Courage

20220725ma_1302Book: Lines of Courage (2022)
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: MG, Historical [WWI]

Opening lines from the book …
June 28, 1914 – Deep inside, Felix knew something was wrong. A pinch had settled in his gut from the first moment he and his father stepped off the train in Sarajevo. It was the same feeling he’d had before his grandfather died last year.


1) This book tells the story of World War I through the eyes of various characters. I liked that they were NOT connected in any way prior to the war, but as the book progresses, their lives get intertwined with one another. This book divides the war up into various sections, making a new character the POV character for each section. So we get to know an Austrian boy, a German girl, a girl from Britain and another one from France, and a young man from Russia. 

2) The hospital trains! I know a fair bit about World War I, but this is the first I’ve heard about the hospital trains that took the wounded away from the battlefields. Such interesting history here! I love how Kara steps in to take care of a German soldier, even though it means she’s demoted for doing so. And yet, she does it because it’s the right thing to do.

3) The opening tells about the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. I already knew the story (or most of it), but it was great to see it come to life. And I liked that it’s told through the eyes of Felix, a young boy. 

4) The carrier pigeons are great. I mean, what’s not to love about sending messages via pigeon?


A good book about the horrors of World War I, and the courageous people who made it through the “War to end all Wars.”  You don’t often get a lot of books about that war, so it was a nice change to reading about the second war that comes in 1939.



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

6 thoughts on “Review / Lines of Courage

  1. Nielsen always writes a compelling story, thank you for the remainder of this one. I visited Belgrade and saw the declaration that was sent by Austria following Ferdinands death, so I would probably enjoy reading this.


  2. This sounds like a fascinating story! I have only read one MG book about WWI and I should do so, because my grandfather served in that war. Never heard about the hospital trains. We were progressing on the battlefields. Add it to my TBR list.


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