The story of the Channel Islands in World War II has always fascinated me – the only British soil conquered by the Nazis, so I was thrilled when April Gardner asked me to read her children’s novel, Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang.
Nine-year-old Lizzie Browning loves playing on the beach with her cousin James and brother Andre. But when Nazis invade her peaceful island, she finds life upended and her beloved beach “Verboten.” Lizzie’s family must adjust to food shortages, strict rules, and firm curfews. When German soldiers move in to the inn down the street, Lizzie suspects Philip Siefert, the innkeeper’s son and her classmate, of being a German collaborator. Lizzie, Andre, and James make plans to escape from the island, but Philip’s presence endangers their scheme.
This is a wonderful novel for children in upper elementary grades. Lizzie is based on the life of a woman who was a young girl on Guernsey in World War II. The historical background is fascinating and presented in a child-friendly format, and Lizzie learns important lessons about judging others and trusting in the Lord. Refreshingly, the children are realistically flawed and enterprising, while remaining obedient and respectful. Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang is available as a paperback and on Kindle through Amazon.
My own children are too old for Lizzie (sob!) so I’d love to find a new home for her! Leave a comment for a chance to adopt. I’ll announce the winner on Friday.