The Ene­my Above: A Nov­el of World War II

Michael P. Spradlin
  • Review
By – September 14, 2017

The Ene­my Above: A Nov­el of World War II by Michael P. Spradlin | Jew­ish Book Coun­cil

Set in the Ukrain­ian town of Bor­shchiv in 1942, The Ene­my Above tells the sto­ry of Anton, a twelve-year-old boy, and his fam­i­ly, as they live in hid­ing from the Nazis. 

The book opens with Anton; his brave grand­moth­er, Bubbe; his uncle Pavel, who is like a broth­er to Anton, and his uncle Dmitri, who is con­stant­ly caught in the mid­dle between his moth­er and Pavel, all hid­ing in a series of under­ground caves. Gestapo offi­cer Major Karl Von Due­sen relent­less­ly pur­sues Anton’s fam­i­ly and the oth­er Jews in Bor­shchiv, try­ing to make the town juden­frei, free of Jews. In the end, Major Von Due­sen is defeat­ed by Anton’s fam­i­ly until the war ends and the Nazi night­mare is over.

While the char­ac­ters are not ful­ly devel­oped, this is a fast-mov­ing sto­ry packed with adven­ture. It should appeal to chil­dren ages 10 – 12 who are inter­est­ed in Holo­caust-themed literature. 

Noreen Wachs is the librar­i­an at Ramaz Mid­dle School in New York City. She received her library degree from the Hebrew Uni­ver­si­ty of Jerusalem. She is the trea­sur­er of the New York chap­ter of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Librar­i­ans and has been an active mem­ber of that organization.

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