Michael O’Shaunessey is 13 years old and in Hitler’s Youth. The thing is, he’s not committed to Hitler-he and his parents, Irish ambassadors, are spies. Michael befriends a weak boy at school after he’s ruthlessly attacked. The two of them start training together, to work on their separate weaknesses-Michael has a fear of heights, and Fritz cannot fight- in order to advance in to the SRD.
Michael has a photographic memory which serves him well as a spy. Fritz has shown him plans for a jet fighter plane called Projekt 1065 that Michael memorizes and with the help of an unlikely Ally, is able to reproduce the blueprint.
But when Fritz becomes hardened with all his Nazi training and soon is put on a special “science team” that can only end badly, Michael must pretend to be a complete Zealot to the Nazi cause in order to help the Allies even if it means risking his and his family’s life.
While this is a novel of WWII, it is geared towards younger readers so it is not very graphic with war detail. It can also give young readers a sense of courage and feeling of how to want to do the right thing and help even when it’s hard and you’re in the minority. That said, I just didn’t feel like Michael was that believable of a spy as he would sometimes outwardly show disgust and not show enthusiasm like the other boys when they got to do something “important” for the cause. I was afraid his lukewarm attitude would get him caught. The bravery of a young boy in treacherous times made for an appealing story and I really liked how it ended.