Book Review: Snow Treasure
By Marie McSwigan
In the bleak winter of 1940, Nazi troops parachuted into Peter Lindstrom’s tiny Norwegian village and held it captive. Nobody thought the Nazis could be defeated–until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children could fool the enemy. It was a dangerous plan. They had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds. It meant risking their country’s treasure–and their lives. This classic story of how a group of children outwitted the Nazis and sent the treasure to America has captivated generations of readers.
(courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I cannot believe I had never heard of Snow Treasure until last week! This novel is a gem. It is fully appropriate for a very young audience; I think even 8 year olds would enjoy it. Snow Treasure is also full of adventure and danger that will enthrall older children. It is appropriate for both boys and girls.
The main character, Peter Lindstrom, is brave, obedient and resourceful. As a leader of the young Norwegian children’s club he has to make hard choices that even endanger his own life. Helga Thomsen proves herself to be equal to the boys and is known for being clever. The leaders of the Defense Club have to carry out the mission to secretly transport the gold without much help from the adults to allay the possible suspicion of the Nazi soldiers. As the weather begins to warm everyone in the village is worried that they will not be able to finish the transportation of the treasure. Near to finishing their goal another problem arises, one particular soldier seems more interested in the children’s activities. Problems just keep getting thicker and thicker.
The original copyright on Snow Treasure is 1942. It was the recipient of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in 1945. There are still questions to whether this story is true or not.
The author, Marie McSwigan writes, “This story is based on an actual happening. On June 28, 1940, the Norwegian freighter Bomma reached Baltimore with a cargo of gold bullion worth $9,000,000… Two changes were made in the scant account given in the news dispatches that accompanied the disclosure of the cargo of gold. The Bomma, a coasting motorship, became the Cleng Peerson, a fishing smack. Also, the distance the gold was sledded was not twelve miles but actually thirty-five miles. Otherwise, how the Norse children set about eluding the German forces of occupation is here reconstructed as well as possible from what brief facts were permitted.”
I’ve decided I would rather believe the children of Norway really were responsible for saving the gold bullion of their country from the occupying Nazi forces.
I highly recommend this book!
5 out of 5 stars