Oh, how I love historical fiction novels based on real events. And I love Kimberly Brubaker's writing. As soon as I read The President's Daughter by Bradley a few years ago, I began searching out this author's work. After seeing For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy recommended on a blog, I realized I had not read this book by her.
For Freedom has a lot going for it. It is set in France during World War II, a time period I still find fascinating because of the way the entire world was impacted. Suzanne is only thirteen as the book begins, and still not quite aware of the effect the war will have on her. Her family is forced out of their home by German soldiers, left to live in a small apartment. Suzanne's focus in life is singing and she aspires to one day be a professional opera singer. The war reduces Suzanne's ability to pursue her dream, yet Suzanne and her family are among the lucky ones as her father continues to have work. When Suzanne's arm becomes infected from a cut and she must make repeated visits to Dr. LeClerc, the doctor entrusts Suzanne with a secret that could cost them both her life. He is a spy for the Allies, and would like Suzanne to deliver messages for him. Knowing that if she agrees to this she will never be able to turn back to her life before spying, Suzanne forges ahead, anxious to help the Allies defeat Germany. Now in addition to singing, Suzanne spends time meeting and delivering messages for Dr. LeClerc, hiding the secret messages in her hair.
Bradley has done a wonderful job retelling the story she learned from the mother of her husband's co-worker. Another great historical fiction tween novel by a talented author.