Title: The Sky Grew Red
Author: Anne Holm
Major Themes: Napoleon, Denmark, Historical Fiction
Synopsis: When Napoleon was trying to conquer Europe, England invaded Denmark to try to stop him—but two children tried to stop the English!
My daughter borrowed The Sky Grew Red from a friend recently because Anne Holm also wrote one of our all-time favorite books, I Am David. I read it aloud, and though it was an interesting story, we were a bit disappointed—it just doesn’t measure up to the other book!
Louise had been sent from her home in the West Indies, to live with her grandfather in Denmark. It would be safer there, her parents believed. And then, one day, she met an English boy, Tim. His uncle was in Denmark with the English army—and they were on their way to seize the Danish navy to keep it away from Napoleon! How could they be stopped?
Tim and Louise set off on a mission. They must find Tim’s uncle and give him a message that will, hopefully, stop the English army from starting a war. Can two children, one a girl in disguise, travel the several days they must in order to find Uncle Arthur—and will they be able to find him even if they find the army in time?
I had no idea that the English invaded Denmark to try to stop Napoleon. This was a glimpse at a bit of history that is virtually unknown. We found that part of the story interesting—but as a whole, The Sky Grew Red was disappointing. There wasn’t much of a plot; events simply happened. I had a hard time figuring out what the author was trying to show in this book. The bravery and ingenuity of the children was inspiring, as they tried to help people over and over throughout the story. I guess the bottom line is that, even if one book by an author is great, don’t expect the same from other books by the same author.
WARNING: Chapter 1: Oh God, Oh my God. Chapter 3: Where the devil, why the devil, what an almighty idiot, Good Lord above. Chapter 6: What the devil, confound it, Oh Lordie. Chapter 9: hang it, a man is killed. Chapter 11: what the hell, dammit
Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12