- Short-listed, Kobzar Literary Award, 2016
- Short-listed, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, 2015
- Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2014
Fourteen-year-old Luka works as an Ostarbeiter in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, alongside Lida from Making Bombs for Hitler. Desperate to escape the brutal conditions of the labour camp, he manages to get away by hiding in a truck under a pile of dead bodies.
Once free, Luka joins a group of Ukrainian resistance fighters. Caught between advancing Nazis in the west and Soviet troops in the east, they mount guerilla raids, help POW escapees, and do all they can to make life hard for the Nazis and Soviets. After the war, Luka must decide whether to follow Lida to Canada — or stay in Europe and search for his long-lost mother.
Underground Soldier is a companion book to Stolen Child and Making Bombs for Hitler, and a perfect entry point into the series for new readers, as the books can be read in any order.
"Skrypuch succeeds in making some of the more horrific and lesser-known events of the Second World War accessible and engaging for younger readers." —Quill & Quire (for Stolen Child)
"An achingly sad and intensely hopeful novel — honest about suffering, but also about resilience. It is gripping in its plot and its striking characters, and full of historical accuracy." —Canadian Children's Book News (for Making Bombs for Hitler)
"[Skrypuch] does a wonderful job of illuminating the moral dilemmas forced upon ordinary people during extraordinary times . . . [and] certainly succeeded in introducing this compelling slice of history to a new audience." —The National Reading Campaign (for Underground Soldier
"Underground Soldier is also a worthy choice as supplementary reading for classes studying The Diary of Anne Frank, and it is an excellent addition to school library collections. It is definitely accessible reading to middle school readers, and I think that high school students will enjoy it as well." —CM: Canadian Review of Materials (for Underground Soldier
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