Thursday, October 8, 2009

Honey Cake by Joan Betty Stuckner

When I am looking for simple and satisfying junior fiction I can never go past titles from the Stepping Stone series by Random House. Years ago I read O’Diddy by Jocelyn Stevenson and although this has long been out of print it remains a firm favourite.
I recently used Horn Book to identify junior novels for our children in Years 1-4 and ordered over twenty new titles for our library. One of these was Honey Cake by Joan Betty Stuckner. Set in Copenhagen just after the Nazi occupation, David is caught up in the work of the resistance when his dad who is a baker asks him to deliver a box of chocolate éclairs. Through David’s eyes we see how this lovely city has been horribly changed as the Germans begin to exert their influence.

This book is very short and quick to read but it still manages to convey much of the history of that time and the fears and anxiety’s that would have been common experiences for young children living through these dangerous and confusing times. This book would make a good introduction to this subject for children in Years 3 and 4.

I would recommend reading this book along side The little Riders by Margaretha Shemin which is about the Nazi occupation of Holland and What about me? by Gerte Evenhuis which is also about the resistance.

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