The Bicy­cle Spy

Yona Zeld­is McDonough
  • Review
By – May 26, 2017

Set in 1942 in France, this is the sto­ry of Mar­cel who is forced to make tough deci­sions. Will he join his par­ents in resist­ing the Nazis, or will he report them? When a friend needs help, will he help her? This is a sto­ry of fam­i­ly, human­i­ty, and com­pas­sion in a time that those char­ac­ter­is­tics are sore­ly lack­ing. Mar­cel is a boy who loves to cycle and he is a big fan of the Tour de France. He and his friends are train­ing to ride in the big race some­day. When World War II breaks out, the race is can­celled and life changes a lot for Mar­cel. Mar­cel dis­cov­ers, to his sur­prise, that his par­ents have been help­ing the French Resis­tance. He decides to join the fight by bring­ing secret notes hid­den in his mother’s baked goods to fel­low resisters. Using his bicy­cle he is able to sneak past the ene­my sol­diers. If they do see him, once they taste his mother’s treats, they do not sus­pect him. Will he make it past those sol­diers when it counts the most in order to save his friend and her fam­i­ly? The inten­si­fy­ing pace, coura­geous char­ac­ters, and sus­pense­ful tone of this nov­el will keep read­ers on the edges of their seats. Read­ers will be cheer­ing Mar­cel on. The acces­si­ble writ­ing style makes this a great read! 

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 8 – 11.

Deb­bie Fed­er is cur­rent­ly the Direc­tor of the LRC at Ida Crown Jew­ish Acad­e­my in Chica­go. She has her Mas­ters in Library and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence from Domini­can Uni­ver­si­ty. She has spent more than ten years intro­duc­ing chil­dren and young adults to lit­er­a­ture and infor­ma­tion lit­er­a­cy at schools and pub­lic libraries. She is the author of Jel­ly Bean’s Art Muse­um Adven­ture and is hon­ored to have been a mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Committee.

Discussion Questions