Adapted from Jacques Vriens’s bestselling young-adult novel (inspired by events that occurred in the author’s native region of Holland), Secrets of War is a harrowing account of friendship and courage.
When the Nazis occupy the Netherlands in 1943, 12-year-old best friends Tuur and Lambert are initially shielded from the political chaos around them as they spend their days going to school and playing war games. All that changes with the arrival of Maartje, a newcomer to their classroom. Vying for her affection, Tuur and Lambert’s friendship is tested, and when Maartje grows closer to Tuur, Lambert’s jealous reaction sets in motion a chain of events with consequences that will alter the lives of all three children.
Themes: Friendship, Coming of Age, Heroism, Secrets and Lies, Dutch Resistance
Curriculum Links: Secrets of War can be used to meet the English and Media Studies component of the English curriculum. It can also be applied to the Social Studies curriculum.