Heroes of the secret underground by Susanne Gervay

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Why do I work!!!! I couldn't put down the new book by bestselling author Susanne Gervay, Heroes of the Secret Underground. Susanne has managed to put together a heart-racing time-slip story inspired by her own family's escape from Budapest during World War 2.

The story is set in different two timelines. Winter 1944, Budapest during the Nazi occupation during the war and today in Sydney, Australia at The Majestic Boutique Hotel which has been owned by a three generational Hungarian family.

We are introduced to the two families in the two different timelines through a rose-gold locket with a mother-of-pearl shell. First we learn how the locket was taken away from a girl in Budapest and then how it was found by a girl called Louie in Sydney today. When Louie finds the locket we are thrown into the story of solving the mystery of the mislaid rose-gold locket and who was the girl that dropped it.

Three children, Louie, Bert and Teddy are the centre of the story. We learn about their life living ar The Majestic Boutique Hotel. They are surrounded by family, love, food, and music. All three children unwillingly travel back in time to Budapest. Here they experience how it is to live in war torn Budapest during World War II. They learn how thousands of people managed to survive starvation and being captured by the Nazis and the fascist group of the Arrow Cross through the help of people and the underground and of course The Glass House history.

I found myself thinking 'How many secrets has my family kept about their past especially during the war years?' Louie, Bert and Teddy discover secrets that their families have never talked about from their past and I bet they are not the only ones. Maybe because people want to forget the dark past. I still remember my godmother telling my son a couple of years ago that she as a child would find tortoises and sell them to German soldiers as a child for money to help feed her family. There must be many, many, stories out there that are slowly being written into books which I am grateful to read to learn about the past. Does your family have heroes?

Heroes of the Secret Underground is great read about families today and how their families lived during World War II. If you do read it as a class book there is a teacher's guide which I will be using in class soon.

Love the cover too.

Themes: World War II, Time travel, Family.

Maria Komninos