I am a huge fan of books set during the war where children and adults show courage beyond imagination, adapt to new ways of living and eating and say goodbye to loved ones, not knowing what their futures held. I am always in awe of true tales found and shared from these times.
The Hunt for David Berman is a welcome addition to my bookshelves and the characters of Robert and David are amongst my favourites. Their curiosity, adventurous spirits and courage under pressure are to be celebrated!
Robert has been evacuated to Scotland and his grandparents farm. It is very remote and there is plenty to explore, a vast difference to his London! He remembers adventures with his Dad and that makes him feel closer to him while he is away fighting. His mum has recently joined the Wrens and is away as well so Robert is adjusting to life with his ageing grandparents.
While exploring, Robert happens upon a boy of similar age and both are wary of each other and untrusting of each other’s motives. David was part of the Kindertransport but ran away from a family who treated him poorly and ended up living in the caves. He has very little to his name and Robert begins to share items of clothing and food with him.
Over time a friendship is built and trust forms slowly. Sharing adventures, food and stories, the boys look forward to spending time together. Little do they know just how strong their friendship will need to be!
Alongside the story of David and Robert is another, slightly more terrifying, tale of the Nazi search for a missing Enigma code book. A search that leads the reader to the title of this exciting book.
At times thrilling and heart wrenching, it still feels all too real to read about children living through the uncertainty of war and finding great depths of courage. This would make a superb addition to any class studying WWII. It would be curious to know what decisions the readers would make if they were in Robert or David’s shoes.