Shadow on the Mountain

Published by Amulet Books for Young Readers, cover illustration by Yuko Shimizu

Fourteen-year-old Espen and his friends are swept up in the resistance movement in Nazi occupied Norway. He gets his start delivering illegal newspapers, then graduates to the role of courier, and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years of the Nazi regime, he gains--and loses--friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him as he sets out to escape over the mountains to Sweden.

The story is based on real events and the experiences of real people. The book contains photos, maps, and archival material.

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Shadow on the Mountain / Book Trailer from Joellyn Rock on Vimeo.


The narrative is woven with lively enough daily historical detail to inspire older middle-grade readers to want to learn more about the Resistance movement. . . A morally satisfying page turner.
Kirkus / starred review
Preus . . . relates this wartime tale with intelligence and humor. . . deftly using together historical fact (Espen is based on a real-life spy) and elements of Norwegian culture to conjure a time and place not so terribly long ago.
Wall Street Journal
This is at once a spy thriller, a coming-of-age story, and a chronicle of escalating bravery. Multidimensional characters fill this gripping tale that keeps readers riveted to the end.
School Library Journal / starred review


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Bank Street College Best Books
Kirkus Best Books of the Year
Notable Books for a Global Society
Dorothy Canfield Fisher List
Young Hoosier Award List
Judy Lopez Memorial Honor
Jeannette Fair Memorial Award