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Shadow on the Mountain is about the adventures of a Norwegian boy during World War Two. After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway, Espen and his friends are swept up in the Norwegian resistance movement. Fourteen-year old Espen gets his start by delivering underground (and illegal) newspapers, graduates to the role of courier and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years under the Nazi fist, he gains--and loses--friends, falls in love and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him, even as he sets out to escape over the mountains to Sweden on skis. The story is based on the real life adventures of Norwegian Erling Storrusten whom author Preus (of Norwegian ancestry) interviewed in Norway. Most of the experiences that young Espen undertakes are based on those of Mr. Storrusten.
Margi Preus' debut novel, Heart of a Samurai, won the 2010 Newbery Honor Medal and received multiple starred reviews and other awards. Shadow on the Mountain has also received multiple starred reviews and awards.