Deliver Us From Evil by Daniel Reed

A New Approach to World War II Novels

51kxMdquFhL._AA240_.jpgFresh onto the scene comes Daniel Reed's "Deliver Us From Evil" in 2006. If you're into World War II Novels and have an open mind, this may be the next read for you!

Reed's book has your usual essential "good guys" and "bad guys," including actual Nazis and Americans, but this time the story takes place closer to home, in America. Nestled safely in the wild lands of Colorado during the high point of World War II in 1943, the Carsons take pride in their ranch and good ole fashion values. While they know danger lurks across seas as American boys fight to free those under the hand of the Nazi regime, they don't realize that Nazi attack is also in their own backyard.

While father and mountain man Jack Carson leaves on a hunting trip with eldest son, Wade, the other two children Josh and Cassie are surprised one day to be greeted by a dozen desperate Nazi POWs (Prisoners of War) from nearby Camp Trinidad, with "PWs" labeled prominently on their clothing. These men aren't looking for mercy, they're looking for revenge. As the POWs take the children hostage and head for the Mexican border, they face many hurdles that test their German heritage and duties as German citizens. While Colonel Von Toth leads the pack of POWs and uses his uncanny gun skills to make progress, he must face an ultimatum regarding life, duty, and honor.

Colonel Von Toth is not the only character in this novel that must debate the question of honor. Young German, Georg, must debate whether to follow through on the orders he receives from the Colonel, or rebel and secretly help the Carson family members at any chance he can. His secret admiration for the Carson daughter Cassie makes his decision that much harder as he puts not only himself, but the Carsons at risk of death at any given moment.

As some people survive, and some don't, this fast moving novel keeps you on your toes from page to page. With a vast array of characters, concrete setting, new perspectives on World War II and life-lessons of honor and duty, this novel is definitely a keeper in the world of education under the teaching and exploration of The Holocaust and history as we know it.
" 'I could do no other than what I've done! You think I've no heart? Well, you're right. I lost what heart I had to an American P-47 in the deserts of North Africa. All I have to live for now is defending our glorious Fatherland. Have you anything in your miserable lives so glorious to live for as that?' He waited for an answer, then said, 'I doubt that you do' " (Reed 55).

Recommendations for Teachers
Education World: A fabulous link for teachers and teaching World War history and information, complete with multiple links
Webquest: A great webquest teaching the book "A Separate Peace"; a great source for getting started and comparing life now for teens to life in the 40s
Primary Sources in the Classroom: A website with multiple lesson plans on teaching World War II with examples such as political cartoons and propaganda

About the Author Daniel Reed

While Daniel Reed is new to the scene, he has two other books under his belt for reading in the YA Lit category. Daniel Reed is a middle school teacher in western Canada where he lives with his wife and two children. He has a heart for reading and a lifelong interest in World War II. Information on Daniel Reed is scarce due to his fairly recent impact as an author and high values of a private life.

Interview with an American POW
Check out this first hand experience with American soldier Ron Young who was held as a Prisoner of War. In the video, Young tells of his feelings and experiences as a POW, and what he did to cope with his capture.

Want to hear more? Here is a 1940's Radio Drama of an American POW who was captured by Japanese soldiers. Listen in on this story about Gwen Dew and 200 other civilians. Click here to listen to this podcast!

Additional Resources:
Duty and Honor: Another World War II Novel by Daniel Reed told from an Eastern front German soldier with an undying love for a Jewish girl: the ultimate predicament. Published September 2006.
Yes, We Love This Land: Daniel Reed's third and latest novel, with the same theme of World War II. As revenge and honor push this novel's plot, deciding what is right and what is best is sometimes the hardest decision. Published March 2007.
More About Nazi POWs: Want to know the basics, and more about these ill-fated men? Check this wikipedia entry out.
Stalag Luft I Online: A collection of stories, photos, art, and information at this camp from POWs.
How did POWs begin: A brief but informative encyclopedia entry about the beginnings of POWs.
Americans as POWs: A map of all of the locations where Americans were POWs in Germany during WWII.
Official POW/MIA (Prisoner of War/Missing in Action) Website: A place to get your questions about current POWs answered.
Take a look at Ronald Reagan's acting in this movie: IMDB source...Check it out! An oldie but said goodie!

A World War II Timeline: For clarification of which events happened when.
The National World War II Memorial Website: Honoring the 16 million that have served.

By Ashley Stein
Other Reviews: Maus by Art Spiegelman and Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli