ARC Review: Hitler's Secret by William Osborne
Otto and Leni thought they were safe: They escaped - barely - from war-torn Europe and are living as refugees in England. But now the Crown has recruited them: Great Britain wants them to go back to Germany. As spies!
Dropped behind enemy lines, Otto and Leni embark on a top-secret operation. Code name: Wolfsangel. Their mission? Capture the one person who can defeat the ultimate evil of Nazism. Will Hitler's final legacy lie in their hands?
Title: Hitler's Secret
By: William Osborne
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre Type: Historical Fiction, Spies, Adventure
Publication Date: September 24th 2013
Pages: 333 pages
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic
Hitler's Secret is an action-packed, page-turning spy adventure set during World War II featuring two young and heroic teens.
Otto and Leni have escaped from war-torn-Europe and are living in England as refugees. But these two young teens have abilities that the secret service is in desperate need of, and soon the British are recruiting them into the secret service as spies! Before they know it, Otto and Leni are airdropped back into the heart of Nazi territory. Their mission is to bring back a young girl named Angelika who seems to have some important, yet mysterious link to Adolf Hitler.
I'm always on the lookout for new children's and young adult authors and especially love discovering stories with unique settings, so it was no surprise that Hitler's Secret caught my attention with it historical World War II setting and it’s young teen heroes. Another great facet of the story was the fact that it was told from both Otto and Leni’s perspectives, making it a great read for both boys and girls.
At first glance, the story seems pretty simple and straightforward—find and retrieve Angelika, but the author William Osborne had other plans for his readers. He takes the reader on an adventure similar to watching a high-octane, action movie made just for tweens. It was easy to believe, after reading Hitler’s Secret, that author had worked as a screenwriter on such exciting films as The Mummy and Goldeneye. The fast pace and frequent setting changes (France, London, Munich, Switzerland) had an almost fantastic and cinematic feel to it, and the snappy characters and action sequences reminded me of an Indiana Jones film. From car chases and rooftop fights to parachute airdrops and hang gliding, Hitler's Secret had more than enough thrills.
Besides the themes of spies, World War II, and courage, the book also touches upon identity, the consequence of personal actions and some violence and death. In Hitler's Secret, we know that both Otto and Leni have suffered personal loss from the war, but the author has given the story a creative and thoughtful twist. What if you were given the power to take revenge against those who have hurt you? Would you be able to, and at what cost? Those are the questions Otto and Leni will have to face before the story is done. The author also included plenty of interesting details for that time period that I think young adults are going to love and be fascinated by. At the back of the book, there is a nice Historical Note section for readers to help separate fact from fiction.
Young adults readers looking for action, and over-the-top adventure with lots of spy thrills within a unique World War II setting.