I’m the book guru at school. That’s what they call me. Finding a good children’s book is one of my greatest pleasures, next to reading aloud to children. Teachers and parents lean on me for good books. The storyline of “Amanda in Holland, Missing in Action” was intriguing to me – adventure, history, WWII, Anne Frank… and more. A few months ago I ordered the book. I was so excited!
Darlene Foster is the author, and she did not disappoint. I was enveloped in Holland with Amanda. I could not put the book down.
Here’s what Amazon says:
Amanda is in Holland to see the tulips with her best friend, Leah. They travel the canals of Amsterdam, visit Anne Frank House, check out windmills, tour a wooden shoe factory, and take many pictures of the amazing flowers of Keukenhof Gardens. She is keen to find out what happened to her great uncle who never returned from WWII and was declared missing in action. What she doesn’t expect to find and fall in love with is Joey, an abandoned puppy. While trying to find a home for him, she meets Jan, a Dutch boy who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange woman on a bicycle, and an overprotective goose named Gerald.
This paints a picture of the storyline, but it fails to capture the emotion and excitement and history that happens along the way. When Amanda arrives in Holland to spend a vacation with her best friend Leah, she finds Joey the puppy abandoned in a box by a garbage can. This begins a series of events that include stolen prized tulips and selling animals from puppy farms. Amanda meets many characters along the way, including Jan and his grandmother and great grandmother. Her suspicions are often cause for more adventure, and therefore more depth into the book’s characters. Ingrid, Tom, Astrid, Helga, and even Gerald the goose give Amanda clues to uncovering the stolen tulip bulbs and puppy farms. They come to life in the book, making Amanda’s adventures dangerous.
Here’s the best part: woven in between Amanda’s terrific adventures are important stories in history, most notably the Anne Frank House, and the Canadian Army rescuing the people of Holland from the Nazis at the end of WWII. Amanda is from Canada. One of her relatives was missing in action, and she uncovers information.
Without giving away the story, I can tell you that I was on the edge of my seat throughout the book. Nancy Drew, move over!