The Eagle Trail
Publisher: Walker Books
Paul Hansen is running for his life. After witnessing his father's execution and his mother's arrest in Nazi-occupied Antwerp he is determined to evade the Germans that have destroyed his home. Staying one step ahead of the Nazis is tough enough, but as his options dwindle it seems his only hope is a perilous journey through Europe towards England.
His route will take him through the Pyrenees mountains and across the deadly Eagle Trail, infamous for being the most deadly of all the mountain routes, with no markers and a fatal drop. With officers on the look-out and spies ready to turn him in, it's hard to know who to trust but the Eagle Trail is too dangerous to attempt alone. A team of fearless members of the resistance are prepared to help Paul - but a traitor in their midst means no one is safe.
Robert Rigby's historical drama is well-researched and fast-paced. Some tense scenes feel really cinematic and the story is peppered with bursts of action that will delight thrill-seekers. But the severity of Paul's situation is not lost in gun-fire and explosions; the book carries the weight of its war theme and will make a useful addition to any school lessons on the subject. A colourful cast of supporting characters adds some memorable moments - the Bugatti-loving priest is a particular highlight. Whilst this feels very much a boys story it should be pointed out that young resistance recruit Josette can certainly hold her own.