A young WWII gunner from the Prairies sees the horrors of war firsthand when he is captured by the Gestapo.
Eighteen-year-old Sam Frederiksen has come a long way from the Prairies. Trained to be a gunner in a Lancaster bomber during WWII, he is shot down over France. Battered and bruised, he does survive, and joins forces with the French Resistance... only to be betrayed by one of its members. He and other flyers from various Allied countries are rounded up by the Gestapo and held in Fresnes prison just outside of Paris.
Treated as spies, rather than POWs, these men are beaten, some tortured - then sent to Buchenwald Concentration Camp in eastern Germany. It is here, in these wretched conditions, that Sam witnesses the darkest side of humanity - gas chambers, torture and starvation. Yet it is also here that he comes to understand the true resilience and unfathomable courage of the victims.
Author Carol Matas has won numerous awards for her previous novels about the Holocaust. Behind Enemy Lines is partially based on a true incident from WWII, in which 168 Allied airmen were captured and sent to Buchenwald. Twenty-six of these men were Canadian.
Carol Matas is the award-winning author of more than thirty books for children and young adults. She is best known for her acclaimed historical fiction, and her awards include the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young Readers as well as two nominations for the Governor General's Award. Carol lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Praise for I Am Canada: Behind Enemy Lines
"What starts as a rip-roaring adventure soon becomes a sobering account of strength in the face of adversity...the subject matter is difficult but ultimately uplifting." -The Montreal Gazette
"The narrative voice is potent and realistic, and Carol Matas does a marvelous job...Behind Enemy Lines is a fantastic account of one Canadian's struggles through World War II in occupied France." -CM Magazine
"The action is relentless and the reader will be turning the pages feverishly to see what happens next... There is no telling here, only masterful revealing through fascinating characters and lively dialogue." -Resource Links