Hero on a Bicycle is a story that you’re not gonna want to miss. Why, you ask? Well, stay tuned to find out. 😀
He [Paolo] stopped and flung his bicycle against a nearby wall to get his breath back and consider the situation. At that moment, someone came up silently behind him and clapped a strong hand over his mouth.
Paolo was bored. He wanted something exciting to happen. His father was in the resistance, but he? He was simply a boy sitting at home while the Nazi lived in his home. He wanted to help. But how could he?
Then one night, two members of the resistance detain Paolo on a late night escape and give him a message for his mother. They want to meet her tomorrow night, in the usual way. Usual way?, Paolo thinks, wondering why he’s never noticed before.
Rosemary Crivelli, Paolo’s mother, knows all about his late night runarounds. She is also worried about her daughter and Paolo’s sister, Constanza, who was becoming increasingly uncommunicative and befriending Fascist sympathizers. She was worried about whether the bread rations would last, whether Maria’s daily foray into the market might yeild something, worried about her husband who’d been forced to flee and disappear because of his views …Rosemary has too much going on.
The Partisans, the resistance, ask Rosemary to hide two men in her house. Just for one night, they say. Rosemary doesn’t want to do it. The Gestapo is watching them. She can’t leave the children motherless and fatherless. But the Partisans won’t take no for an answer.
When they finally bring the two men, they ask one more thing of Rosemary. Can one of her family, who knows good Italian, escort the men to their next stop? Rosemary says absolutely not. Paolo says yes.
As soon as they reach the designated spot, everything goes wrong. Can the family pull together to save the two men in their charge? Or are they all going to be caught by the Gestapo?
Shirley Hughes writes a compelling story of bravery, doing what’s right, and the dark struggles of war. I would highly suggest this to middle schoolers to mid teens to take out to an old oak tree on a sunny day to read. 😀
Would I suggest this?
Definitely! Go to a bookstore and pick it up! I hope that you’ll agree with me, that is this a great book worth reading multiple times. 😀
Happy Reading, all!