Over a quarter million underage British boys fought on the Allied front lines of the Great War, but not all of them fought on the battlefield—some fought beneath it, as revealed in this middle-grade historical adventure about a deadly underground mission.
Secret Soldiers follows the journey of Thomas, a thirteen-year-old coal miner, who lies about his age to join the Claykickers, a specialized crew of soldiers known as "tunnelers," in hopes of finding his missing older brother. Thomas works in the tunnels of the Western Front alongside three other soldier boys whose constant bickering and inexperience in mining may prove more lethal than the enemy digging toward them. But as they burrow deeper beneath the battlefield, the boys discover the men they hope to become and forge a bond of brotherhood.
Secret Soldiers is another stunning story of strength, perseverance, and love from Keely Hutton.
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"In this historical middle-grade audiobook, four disparate teens join a secret WWI mission, tunneling beneath no-man's-land toward the German front line. Narrator Raphael Corkhill is superb. He gives each boy a voice matching his nickname and personality. Shillings, named for his quick-fingered ability to steal one, speaks like the wily London urchin he is. Dover's lilting voice reflects his close-knit family's Irish roots. The gentle Mouse's voice is deep and soft--when he chooses to use it. Eton speaks with the accent of the British aristocracy. In addition, Corkhill deftly infuses kindness into the gruff and demanding officer who helps the teens bond into a cohesive unit. The horror and danger of war are palpable in a subplot involving an unnamed adult soldier who is fighting above ground. L.T. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"
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