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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

History is made one brave act at a time. Henny has grown up with her father’s boat, the Gerda III, as a home away from home. She loves sailing the waters between Denmark and Sweden, carried along by the salt breeze. But when Nazi rule tightens in Copenhagen, Henny joins the resistance. And when Hitler orders the Gestapo to round up all Jewish citizens, Henny realizes that the Gerda III isn’t just a boat—it’s a means of escape for her Jewish neighbours. Safety and freedom are just across the channel in Sweden—as long as Henny doesn’t get caught. The fourth book in Kathy Kacer’s Heroes Quartet series, Call Across the Sea brings to life a little-known part of World War II and highlights the unsung acts of heroism that moved history forward.…

Overall Book Review:

It’s been said that character is how we treat those who can do nothing for us.  In a time when Hitler was re-writing the world as people knew it, there were a few people who put their lives on the line for innocent people who desperately needed help.  They didn’t have time for the politicians to someday take action, so they decided to take action and do what was necessary.  This historical fiction is an enduring reminder of the boldness regular people demonstrated, inspiring others to become brave themselves.

The author, Kathy Kacer, has found a brilliant tempo with this book.  From start to finish it kept me on the edge of my seat.  Henny is about sixteen years old and is doing her best to make it through school while the Nazi’s impose themselves in her beloved Denmark.  One random day, she is forced to decide if she will step up and help people or shrink back in fear.  Throughout the story, we are introduced to several of her friends, her parents, and her neighbors.  Each one is special to her.  Henny also loves the sea.  It’s her favorite place and makes her feel at peace with the world.

Filled with lots of action, this would make a fantastic read aloud for the family or even supplement a history reading curriculum on a personal level.  (One thing to note from a parents’ perspective: when Henny decides to take action, she sneaks out of the house on several occasions, although in the end, she tells her parents what she’s doing.)  Regarding violence, the author has done an impressive job writing this in an age-appropriate way without including graphic violence.  Being book four of the Heroes Quartet Series, it can easily stand alone, although the first three books would be worth going back to read also.  Here is the link to the first book: The Sound of Freedom.  Be sure to read the author’s notes at the end of the story. 

Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Annick Press

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore:  Soldiers grab 2 men and takes them away; mention of other countries who are occupied by the Nazis; danger by being a part of the resistance. 

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Anti-Semitism, fear, teens sneaking out, defacing property in minor ways, Nazis, guns, war. 

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Reading a good adventure story has always been a vacation in the theater of my mind. When I’m stressed or just need to get away for a few minutes, I love the opportunity to climb into somebody else’s world. I didn’t enjoy reading until I was in the Air Force and building bombs in Korea; it was a wonderful distraction from the real world. (I tried bull riding, but it wasn’t exciting enough.)