cover image Candy Bombers: The Wall Series, Book 1

Candy Bombers: The Wall Series, Book 1

Robert Elmer, . . Zonderkidz, $6.99 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-310-70943-5

Blending history, adventure, mystery and questions of faith, Elmer serves up the debut title in a trilogy set in post-WWII Germany. The initial tale offers a prologue dated 1988 in which an American boy named Nick discovers the German name Erich carved into one of the wooden seats of the U.S. WWII plane he has been exploring on the base where his father is stationed. The action then flashes back to 1948 where 12-year-old Berliner Erich is sneaking around the same vehicle. Having lost his minister father in one of the U.S. bombings of his city, and observed the hardships of his grandmother in the Russian occupied sector, Erich holds American soldiers in contempt. That's why Erich is especially torn when a U.S. military officer befriends him and his cousin, recruiting the children for a human interest news story and a series of "candy bombings" (dropping handkerchief parachutes filled with sweets upon the ravaged neighborhoods of Berlin). As the story unfolds, also in the subsequent installments (The Beetle Bunker 0-310-70944-X, set in 1961, and Smuggler's Treasure 0-310-70945-8, set in 1989), the U.S. officer turns out to be more than a friend to Erich's family, and Elmer reveals the man's connection to Nick in an exciting denouement. Though the dialogue is occasionally not very childlike, the plot unfolds at a brisk pace sure to entertain readers while offering them food for thought. Historical endnotes and a few quoted scripture passages are included. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)