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The heart-pounding story of an unlikely band of ragtags who took on Hitler's Grand Prix driver.
In the years before World War II, Adolf Hitler wanted to prove the greatness of the Third Reich in everything from track and field to motorsports. The Nazis poured money into the development of new race cars, and Mercedes-Benz came out with a stable of supercharged automobiles called Silver Arrows. Their drivers dominated the sensational world of European Grand Prix racing and saluted Hitler on their many returns home with victory.
As the Third Reich stripped Jews of their rights and began their march toward war, one driver, René Dreyfus, a 32-year-old Frenchman of Jewish heritage who had enjoyed some early successes on the racing circuit, was barred from driving on any German or Italian race teams, which fielded the best in class, due to the rise of Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
So it was that in 1937, Lucy Schell, an American heiress and top Monte Carlo Rally driver, needed a racer for a new team she was creating to take on Germany's Silver Arrows. Sensing untapped potential in Dreyfus, she funded the development of a nimble tiger of a new car built by a little-known French manufacturer called Delahaye. As the nations of Europe marched ever closer to war, Schell and Dreyfus faced down Hitler's top drivers, and the world held its breath in anticipation, waiting to see who would triumph.
About the Author
Neal Bascomb is the author of The Nazi Hunters, winner of the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, among numerous other awards. School Library Journal called his second young adult book, Sabotage, "excellent" in a starred review and The Grand Escape a "fantastic pick for avid history readers" also in a starred review. In addition, he is the author of six nonfiction books for adults on subjects ranging from a 1905 Russian submarine mutiny to a contemporary high school robotics team. The Perfect Mile, Winter Fortress, and Hunting Eichmann went on to be New York Times and international bestsellers. Neal lives in Philadelphia with his family and rascal dog, Moses. Please visit his website at nealbascomb.com and follow him on Facebook @nealrbascomb.
Praise for The Grand Escape:
* "Bascomb does an extraordinary job of bringing the principal escapees to life. . . . His account of the Herculean task of digging the tunnel is fascinating, viscerally evoking the claustrophobic act. He also invests his account with page-turning suspense and colorful detail. The narrative is enhanced by the inclusion of generous period photographs and contemporary maps and charts. Altogether the book is a marvel of research and an example of narrative nonfiction at its finest. It's a grand adventure." -- Booklist, starred review
* "Suspenseful reading, enhanced by diagrams and photographs. A fine escapade related with proper drama and likely to be news even to well-read young historians." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "It is a tale of triumph that became a template for future prisoners of war, and Bascomb's heavy, well-cited research provides the information readers need. . . . A fantastic pick for avid history readers." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"Plenty of photographs put faces to the escapees, and diagrams and maps illuminate the prison layout, tunnel, and destinations for border crossing. An introductory 'List of Participants' is handy for reader review, and sources notes, bibliography, and index direct readers pursuing research. This, however, is a real-life thriller that's too compelling to relegate merely to World War I report writers." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"An excellent piece of history presented in a readable, entertaining format." -- School Library Connection
Praise for Sabotage:
* "Bascomb is a master of taking complicated histories and turning them into exciting works of nonfiction . . . This excellent treatise on a little-known episode of World War II is a first choice." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"This is an exciting and impeccably researched story of science, spies, and commando raids -- page-turning nonfiction at its best." -- Steve Sheinkin, Newbery Honor-winning author of Bomb: The Race to Build -- and Steal -- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
"Bascomb's detailed narrative builds tension through each attempt, narrow escape, and comeback . . . vivid descriptions of the principal participants and their motivations, rigors of Norway's climate and terrain, and the risks calculated (and those unforeseen), producing a gripping account of individual and collective heroic effort." -- Publishers Weekly
"The book is enhanced by impressive supplemental material, including a helpful list of participants, photographs, maps, and an intriguing author's note. A rich, well-paced narrative." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Bascomb admirably balances dramatic tension and context throughout . . . Sabotage will find its place in a growing body of narrative nonfiction centering on military and political history." -- Horn Book
"Bascomb's clear-eyed account, helped along by photos, maps, and diagrams, of the thrilling mission and its many challenges . . . will handily engage teens." -- Booklist
Praise and Awards for The Nazi Hunters:
Winner of the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award
Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Teen Readers
"The Nazi Hunters is a fabulously exciting piece of history that teens should know about -- and now they will! Bascomb's detailed scenes allow readers to live through this true tale of courage and daring as if they were there." -- Deborah Heiligman, Printz Honor-winning author of Charles and Emma and Intentions
"I found The Nazi Hunters riveting, from its suspenseful search for Eichmann to the capture of the war criminal responsible for orchestrating the murder of eleven million people, including six million Jews. Neal Bascomb's book is incredibly well-researched and paced like an espionage thriller. The hunters' commitment to bringing Eichmann to justice is sure to captivate readers." -- Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Newbery Honor-winning author of Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow and The Boy Who Dared
"From cafés in Buenos Aires to the halls of the fledgling Israeli government, from false identities to secret drops, this story has all the hallmarks of a spy novel. Bascomb has a knack for turning complex detail into a suspenseful, heart-pounding narrative." -- School Library Journal
"Photographs are included throughout the text, adding not just to the evidence of Eichmann's guilt but to the reader's sense of being along on the mission." -- The Horn Book Magazine
"Tension rises from the pages, thanks to Bascomb's command of pacing, judicious use of quoted material, inclusion of archival photographs and strong descriptions." -- Kirkus Reviews