Enemies in the Orchard, by Dana Vanderlugt

A gorgeously written historical novel based on true events during WWII.

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I received a free copy of this product as a member of Zondervan's Kidz Review Krew in exchange for writing a review.  All opinions are my own.

About a year ago, a special exhibit at a local museum focused on German POW camps in the area and we were all shocked to discover how many of these existed all over the country. So when this book came across my path, I knew we'd have to read it:

There are several things that make this novel unique -- each of which contribute to my enjoyment of it!

The book is based on a true story about one of those WWII POW camps here in the U.S. It was interesting to read details about its operations as well as what people living nearby thought about having such an institution in their backyards.

The chapters alternate between two main characters, a Midwestern girl and a German POW, and this varied use of first-person point of view is an effective method of storytelling.

Additionally, the entire book is written in poetry instead of the typical prose that we expect to find in novels.

Even though the poetry format might seem strange to some readers, it's definitely successful, and I feel this middle-grade novel is the perfect gateway for other novels written in verse.

The book also explores themes of connection, trauma, and hope, which will lead to many productive and interesting conversations with your young readers, I'm sure. 

Besides being an interesting book in and of itself, this title would make an excellent addition to your homeschooling history shelf! Grab your copy here and be sure to read it yourself - I hope you'll find it as fascinating as I did!

Have you ever read a novel in verse like this before? What did you think? I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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