Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Resist by Tom Palmer

Tom Palmer tells a heart-wrenching story of strength, courage and sacrifice in a time when Nazis took everything. The reality of war-time life in German-occupied Netherlands is described with details that really mean something to young readers – family, friendships, giving up passions like dance and music, giving up a childhood to risk everything to protect the ones they love.

Resist begins with a girl on a bicycle – a young Audrey Hepburn known as Edda so as to not give away her English connections. As she delivers illegal resistance newsletters, she faces almost unbearable fear and dreams of liberation.

Edda must deal with the loss of her brothers, worries over her mother’s pre-war links to Hitler, supporting refugees from a nearby occupied town and all-consuming hunger. One thing keeps her focused and moving forward – dance. A sharp memory, agility, speed and strength, grace under pressure and confidence to stand up for herself – ballet has provided her with skills that are invaluable in facing the enemy and making a difference in the resistance movement.

It is wonderful to see a strong, graceful female main character in a story of war. Edda is inspirational in her determination and unrelenting spirit. I’m looking forward to my own little ballerina reading this story and seeing value in all the skills she possesses.

Tom Palmer is the master of accessible historical fiction that gets right to the heart of the feelings of young people in crisis. In the face of adversity, Tom’s characters prove that they can keep moving forward in the hope that things will get better. When liberation finally does come, I was proud to see Canadian troops leading the way. My own Grandfather, Lieutenant William Guest, was a one of the Canadians in the Netherlands pushing back the enemy.

Created in partnership with Barrington Stoke, Resist meets the needs of so many readers. Page tint, font, spacing, vocabulary choices and a manageable length (165 pages) mean so many more children will benefit from this powerful story.

Thank you so much to Tom Palmer and Barrington Stoke for an early copy on this important book.

Click on the covers below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon or

Books by Kate Heap:

Nonfiction: Years 5/6

Nonfiction: Years 3/4

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