Hello, readers! I love sharing our kids’ favorite books and stories with you! Occasionally, we even have an opportunity to share our experience with a new release! Hunger Winter by Rob Currie is an excellent book for mature middle-grade to early young adult readers or reading aloud to a variety of ages! Feel free to return the favor and tell us all about your kid lit favorites in the comments!
about the book
Hunger Winter by Rob Currie
The thrilling story of one boy’s quest to find his father and protect his younger sister during the great Dutch famine of World War II.
“Sometimes you have to take a chance, because it’s the only chance you have.”
Thirteen-year-old Dirk has been the man of the house since his papa disappeared while fighting against the Nazis with the Dutch Resistance. When the Gestapo arrests Dirk’s older sister, who is also a Resistance fighter, Dirk fears that he and his little sister, Anna, might be next.
With only pockets full of food and his sister asleep in his arms, Dirk runs away to find his father. As Dirk leads Anna across the war-torn Netherlands, from farmyards to work camps, he must rely on his wits and his father’s teaching to find his way.
why we like it…
Hunger Winter boasts a heartfelt and fast-paced plot with endearing characters and an age-appropriate glimpse of Germany’s occupation of the Netherlands. The Ingelse family’s perseverance, dedication, and tenacious hope hooked each of us in turn. Els (18), Dirk (13), and Ana (6) each play an important role in their family’s survival story.
Our nearly 13-year-old son was the first to devour this book and I personally enjoyed the entire book in one evening. Currently, our 15-year-old daughter is reading and she was quickly pulled into the story as well. I can’t express how excited this makes me! Historical fiction is my first love genre and I’ve tried time and time again to tempt my voracious readers away from their strange fantasy ways (I’m mostly kidding, fantasy is a perfectly respectable genre)!
Hunger Winter is a much-needed contribution for the often-overlooked middle-grade-to-young-adult readers. I would recommend reading along with your child if he/she tends to be especially tenderhearted or timid. Overall, this book is enjoyable for all ages, launching discussions about history, family, and faith. I highly recommend it!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
about the author
Raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Rob Currie majored in psychology at Cornerstone University before earning his master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology at St. Louis University. He met and married his wife in St. Louis.
An avid reader, his favorite books are about World War II. His veteran father cultivated this interest by frequently sharing stories of bravery and ingenuity which contributed to the Allied victory. Other interests include cooking, playing basketball, and writing whimsical poetry.
Rob has taught psychology at Judson University since 1987. In 2001 he published Hungry for More of God. He published Preschool Wisdom: What Preschoolers Desperately Want to Tell Parents and Grandparents in 2011. Visit his website!
What are your hobbies?
R: Playing basketball, cooking, and writing humorous poetry.
What motivated you to write Hunger Winter?
R: When he was in eighth grade, my son wrote a two-page story about World War II in the Netherlands. I thought it was interesting and suggested we could write a longer version of that story together for fun. The idea was that we would each write half of the chapters. He agreed but soon became more interested in being a teenager than writing a story. By that time I was hooked on the story, and I decided to finish writing it.
Why did you choose World War II and the Dutch famine as your story focus?
R: I’ve loved learning about World War II since I can remember, thanks to my father, who was a World War II vet. My wife is of Dutch heritage, so it seemed a logical focus. As I got into the research, I learned about that awful part of the war the Dutch call the Hongerwinter. When I discovered that many people don’t know about this part of the war, I knew I had to write about it.
How much research did you have to do on that specific World War II time period in the Netherlands?
R: I’ve been reading World War II books for decades. But I had to read more material that was specific to the Dutch experience, and I interviewed several survivors of the Hunger Winter.
As you did the research for this book, what surprised you the most?
R: I was surprised to learn how the Luftwaffe used kindness to get captives to reveal secrets. After the war, some of the American prisoners of war who had been interrogated reached out to their Luftwaffe captors because they had developed a friendship with them.
What is your favorite type of leisure reading?
R: I love reading kids’ fiction. The good books are very good, and they are clean.
How did your parents get you interested in reading?
R: My mom took me to the library a lot, and my Dad read a great deal. I think he spent more time reading than watching television.
How old were you when you realized you loved writing?
R: I made that discovery in a creative writing class my sophomore year in high school.
What’s the biggest challenge in writing for kids?
R: I had to learn to adjust my writing to how young characters think and talk.
What’s the hardest thing about writing fiction?
R: You have to write something that surprises the reader but at the same time is believable.
Are you going to write a sequel to this book?
R: I hope to. I am interviewing people who lived through World War II in the Netherlands.
Thanks to the publisher and author for providing this q&a!
The publisher has generously offered to send a print copy of Hunger Winter to one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader!
US only | ends 3/17 | complete giveaway rules
Don’t you love sharing stories with your family?!
What are some of your favorite (kid approved) WWII stories, reader friends?