Joe and his family are living in pre-World War II Berlin. Joe attends school and is a member of the Hitler Youth Movement, where he bows to peer-pressure, although he feels uncomfortable with how Jews are treated by his friends and community. After his British father is taken by the Gestapo and his New Zeland mother receives warning she could be next the pair flee Berlin with the help of the community. Joe is evacuated to New Zealand, but wanting to support the movement against Nazi Germany and find his parents he stows away on a ship to England, where he experiences the Blitz and is recruited by Special Forces and trained to be a spy.
I actually think (and only my opinion) but this may be the best book written by Brian Falkner. It is action packed, with stunning language that puts you right in the middle of the action – I literally could not put this book down! Falkner, although writing fiction, stays very close to the historical facts of the time. An immense amount of research and fact finding has gone into this novel and definitely adds to a great read! The photographs and glossary at the back reflect this. Readers will feel a real connection to the characters who are really likeable and make this a very easy read.
I really loved this book and am so disappointed not to be able to add this to our Intermediate collection due to some adult themes. This is a great read for teens and adults! You really need to read this book!
Title: Katipo Joe: Blitzkrieg
Author: Brian Falkner
Date of Publication: April 2020
Do you have any advisory warnings for this book? Some adult themes
Reviewer: Angela Thompson, Library Lead Teacher, Remarkables Primary School, Queenstown
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? The ocean reaches once more for the boy, sweeping over the starboard railing and raking his face with needle-claws of the most bitter cold.