~posted by Ruth
Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes
Italy, 1944. In Florence, the Italian Resistance is struggling against the occupying forces of the Nazi army. Thirteen-year-old Paolo and his sister Costanza are also committed to helping fight the occupation. Enter two adult escaped Allied POW’s the children’s mother is hiding out, and you get an adventurous and courageous tale. There is both fear and bravery, and a deep exploration of moral issues. This is terrific historical novel for older children/teens and tweens. The bicycle that Paolo used to sneak away on for long night-time rides and day-long adventures becomes a key tool for the him and his sister as they take on important roles in the Resistance. The author, Shirley Hughes, is a well-known British author. She scores a hit with her latest book–and first novel! A wonderful summer read that could lead to explorations of other historical novels of the time period from around the world.