Title: Snow Treasure
Author: Marie McSwigan
Major Themes: 1940s, Norway, Historical Fiction, Second World War, Nazis, Children’s Fiction
Synopsis: When the gold bullion of Norway is at stake, will the children of Norway be able to keep it from falling into Nazi hands?
The title of this book, Snow Treasure, can be easily confused with Treasures of the Snow, by Patricia St. John, and when I first heard the title I dismissed it as being the same story. I was quickly to find out differently, however, because Mom read it out loud to us. And when she was in the middle of it, I wished I had looked at the back cover before she started. We have this rule around our house that if Mom starts a book we can’t finish it on our own. This time, it was very hard for me not to break that rule.
Twelve-year-old Peter Lundstrom loves sledding—so does every other child in his village. But now, with the Nazi soldiers on their way to Norway, Peter’s family and their friends around them must decide what to do with the gold bullion they have stored away. If the Nazis find it, their life and the whole of Norway could completely change. They must take it to safety—but how? After much consideration, they hit upon a plan—wrap it in little sacks, and give some to each child to take down to a hidden fiord on their sleds. Eventually, all nine billion dollar’s worth would get down to safety—but could they trust the children to get it there safely, day after day? What if the Nazi guards grow curious about these children who keep coming past? What if someone tells on them? Will they all be caught and severely punished?
Snow Treasure is packed with enthralling adventure and exciting escapes. I think the reason this story was so good was because we get to learn about what Norway and the Norwegian way of life is like—besides having a wonderful adventure along the way. It was a great read-aloud, one that none of us wanted Mom to put down. I’m sure we wore her voice out over it more than once. I know everyone will love the story, and I think children aged 8 – 14 will especially enjoy it as a reader or as a read-aloud.
WARNING: There may be one or two words through the book some parents might not appreciate. There is also some lying through the book.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12