By John Hendrix (Amulet Books)
The Faithful Spy is a thrilling and entertaining read, a great book for 5th graders and older because of its intensity and descriptions of violence, blood and gore, which is too much for younger children.
Hendrix paces the book really well, moving the story quickly. He also creates a really good mix of graphic novel and prose narrative.
For students working on a history project or for those wanting to learn more about World War II, The Faithful Spy includes important details about the plots to assassinate Hitler and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s role in them, such as the most famous attempt—Operation Valkyrie—in which German Army officers tried to bomb a meeting attended by Hitler.
I felt Hendrix spent too much time on how Hitler came to power and not enough time on how Hitler survived the attempts to kill him. For example, how was he left relatively unscathed when his pants were shredded on his body in an explosion?
After being imprisoned, Bonhoeffer started to wonder if there was a God, and if there was, had God abandoned him? The Faithful Spy is a very good book for learning the importance of trusting God through times of stress and turmoil. It provides plenty for kids to talk about with their parent(s) or guardian(s).
Allen Black is a 7th grader and an avid reader.