STAR OF DANGER by Jane Whitbread Levin


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Karl Friedberg was a Jewish boy who left Germany in the early days of Hitlerism for Denmark. Then, in 1943, he was forced to flee again, this time with a companion, Peter Wolf, and the two seventeen-year-olds move northward to freedom. They are separated during their escape and when Karl reaches safety in Sweden, he has no peace of mind until Peter finally arrives there, with a chilling story to tell. Both boys settle into Swedish life but reject (inexplicably) citizenship there and return to Denmark at the end of the war. This is (conjecturally) based on a true story and much of it is as gripping as it should be. But the book's distinction is in its portrayal of the dedicated courage of both Danes and Swedes, in particular that of the Danish Resistance. With all its authenticity and suspense, the story itself avoids any emotional empathy with the characters--particularly Karl. The end of the book seems mechanical and much of its tone is uneven--the beginning is definitely for the older reader, while the last third could have been intended for a younger age group.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1966
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World