In this post I would like to review a book I just read entitled, Domenic's War by Curtis Parkinson. This book is fiction but the author arrived at the idea for the story after listening to a friend recount his experiences as a teen in Italy during World War II. The story deals with a specific time frame, that is the Allied campaign to remove the German Army from the monastery of Monte Cassino. Monte Cassino was a German stronghold and a barrier to the Allied army's move northward into Italy and ultimately up towards the rest of Europe. Parkinson's novel focuses on events in two (fictious) teens lives, Domenic Luppino and Antonio. Domenic lives on a farm and courageously helps his father during the War, while Antonio has a more difficult time as a young man who has lost everything and is forced to work for the Nazi's.
I felt that this YA novel presented an accurate portrayal of the physical hardships and emotional distress encountered in an occupied country during WW II. It also touches on the controversial bombing of the beautiful and sacred monastery of Monte Cassino where the tombs of Benedictine founder, St. Benedict and his sister, St. Scholastica are located. The Afterword contains information on the mind-boggling numbers of soldiers from various countries who died in the battle for Monte Cassino as well as information on the Allied strategy.
This book would appeal to especially to teen boys and those teens interested in WW II historical fiction.
Domenic's War. A story of the Battle of Monte Cassino
2006 Tundra Books
Silver Birch Awards Official Selection