Book: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publication date: 2013
Summary: Rose is a female pilot in World War II working in England with the Air Transport Auxiliary. Most of the book is written as her journal before and after a devastating experience in a German concentration camp. Rose Under Fire is a companion to Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity with some characters, particularly Maddie, making an appearance in the new book.
Thoughts: Code Name Verity tops my list of fiction that I read this year because of the amazing way that it told the story. I reviewed it, Book Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, but didn’t reveal much more — it’s terrific to experience while reading so I don’t want to give away that experience in the review.
The story-telling in Rose Under Fire is more straightforward but still compelling. Since this is directed to teens, I was glad that the concentration camp stories are told after the fact — all that horror, but at least there is the comfort that we know our main character is writing this at the Ritz in Paris.
Rose Under Fire was one of the books being talked about at the Missouri Library Association conference last week, particularly at Sarah Bean’s presentation on Teen Literature. She posted her handout on her blog and it’s a great resource for current books: Teen Literature Update: MLA Presentation Handouts.
At our Environmental Portrait photography workshop on Saturday, I was selected, by virtue of the color of my outfit, to be the model while the instructor, Mark Katzman, showed us how to use an artificial light source to enhance our photos. To get me to relax and be more animated, Mark asked me what I was reading. I’m a librarian; I immediately launched into a book talk of Rose Under Fire and Code Name Verity. Meanwhile, most of the class was in front of me with cameras pointing and clicking — I felt like the President! Rick was off to the side because he was more interested in documenting the lighting set up so we could replicate it some day.
Appeal: Rose Under Fire is a great book for anyone interested in the World War II topics of female pilots, medical experimentation at concentration camps, and doodle bugs (the flying bombs that the Germans shot toward England in 1944). Like Code Name Verity, the topics are hard, particularly the cruelty. I wouldn’t hand this book to anyone too young or sensitive. The subject matter works for male readers and I think adults will like this as much as teens.
Challenges: Rose Under Fire is my 14th book for the Books on France 2013 Challenge.
I’m going to count this as one of my books for What’s in a Name 6 at Beth Fish Reads. I think “under” works as a book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title.
I will also link this review to today’s Dreaming of France link-up at An Accidental Blog.
Reviews: I always like Alex’s take on World War II stories at The Children’s War: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein.
Have you read this book? What did you think?