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Review of Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus


Quote of the Day:  For this brief moment, Espen felt connected to people all over the world, people who still lived in and fought for freedom. The weapons, radios, oatmeal, tinned meat, and chocolate that the packages contained were all needed and appreciated, but almost better was the feeling of being connected to the larger struggle, of not feeling alone and forgotten in the Norwegian mountains. Margi Preus from her MG/YA novel Shadow on the Mountain.

Margi Preus and Mary Aalgaard at the YAC in TRF.

Margi Preus and Mary Aalgaard at the YAC in TRF.

I met Margi Preus last spring at a Young Authors Conference in Thief River Falls, MN. She was the main speaker, and I taught one of the break-out sessions. A small group of us were out for dinner the evening before. She was talking about her career, and said, “When I moved to Duluth, I started a children’s theatre company.” I perked right up. We made a great connection. Not only is she a playwright and enjoys doing theatre workshops with kids, she is a gifted author. I reviewed her latest book, West of the Moon, in May, and I just finished reading Shadow on the Mountain. Both books are historical fiction set in Norway. Some of my relatives immigrated to the U.S. from Norway, and some are still there. I felt a connection to the characters and stories in both these books. Here is my Goodreads review:

shadowontheMtnShadow on the Mountain takes place during WWII in Norway. The Nazis have occupied the country, and everyone’s life has changed. Espen is 14-years-old when the Nazis first arrive. He plays soccer with his schoolmates and he’s in the Boy Scouts. Soon, his scout uniform is confiscated by the Gestapo and soccer games are a thing of the past. Now, he uses his skills to carry secret papers and messages, on skis, bicycle, on foot, or by train. He risks much to fight for justice. Margi Preus based this YA novel on real events that took place in Norway during the war years. She did her research well. It is a fast-paced read filled with suspense, intrigue, and hope. I recommend it to anyone in middle school or older who loves stories of war time courage.


Leo the literary cat loves Shadow on the Mountain.

Leo the literary cat loves Shadow on the Mountain.


We’re experiencing our first snowstorm of the season. The weekend was cold. The hunters were out in their orange and thermal underwear. Leo and I snuggled under a blanket and read books. And what a grand adventure Margi Preus took us on!


Go. Create. Inspire!


Journaling Prompt:  Do you have any snow where you live? Where do you like to read? Do you know your family’s history?

  1. Cool you got to meet her!
    I envy your snow. Please send some.

  2. You know, I have a hard time reading war stories. They just make me so sad. The Book Thief? Yeah. Couldn’t finish it. I have a hard time seeing people treat others as less than human.

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

    • Mary Aalgaard
      Mary Aalgaard says:

      That is hard, Crystal. This book shows the courage and the good and not as much horrible behavior. It is a book of hope. But, I understand. Man’s inhumanity towards man (women and children even worse) is hard to comprehend.

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