1939. Sarah is on the run: from her mother’s dead body, from Nazi soldiers hunting her, from her Jewish heritage. She is strong, compassionate, caring, and loving. Who is Ursula Bettina Haller? Both girls are 15, gymnasts, undersized for their age, blue-eyed blonds. If Sara wants to survive, the similarities must end there. On the run Sara met a man, rescued him, then traveled with him. She became Ursula Bettina Haller, niece to Herr Helmet Haller. The 15-year-old finds herself in a school for the daughters of Nazi higher-ups. Sarah must make friends with a specific girl, get invited to the teenager’s house, and find plans for a bomb. In order to do this, Sara must become a cold, calculating girl and ingratiate herself with the in-crowd, teenage girls who make Nazi soldiers seem benign. She must betray everything she has been up to this point. Can she do this? How far can the brutalized young woman go? What can she accomplish? That question kept me reading this fast-paced, terrifying novel. Can a young, untrained teen forget her past and become someone she doesn’t like? This book is a fast, easy read which surprised me. It is scary and traumatizing. And riveting. I would love to meet Sara again – if she survives. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale
“I opened this book at 9:00 a.m. and closed it at 4:15 p.m. after turning the last page. At times, I felt like my eyeballs just couldn't move as fast as I wanted to be reading. As much of a page-turner as this is, it also delivers a real sense of history and an empowered and empowering 15-year-old heroine who has suffered yet never gives in to fear or hopelessness. It's like Harry Potter meets James Bond in Nazi Germany, starring a Jewish orphan who just keeps kicking butt.”
— Nina Barrett, Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, IL
Her name is Sarah. She's blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish in 1939 Germany. And her act of resistance is about to change the world.
After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He's part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she'd ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she's the Nazis' worst nightmare.
About the Author
Matt Killeen was born in Birmingham, in the UK, back when trousers were wide and everything was brown. Early instruction in his craft included being told that a drawing of a Cylon exploding isn't writing and copying-out your mother's payslip isn't an essay "about my family." Several alternative careers beckoned, some involving laser guns and guitars, before he finally returned to words and attempted to make a living as an advertising copywriter and largely ignored music and sports journalist. He now writes for the world's best loved toy company, as it wasn't possible to be an X-wing pilot. Married to his Nuyorican soul mate, he is parent to both an unfeasibly clever teenager and a toddler who is challenging his father's anti-establishment credentials by repeatedly writing on the walls. He accidently moved to the countryside in 2016. Follow him @by_Matt_Killeen.
“A stunning, smart, grounded tale of intrigue in Nazi Germany, so guilty and detailed it feels like true memory rather than fiction. Sarah is an angry, appealing, heart-wrenching hero, superhuman and achingly frail in equal measure. I wish I’d written this myself. Deeply disturbing and chillingly good.”—Elizabeth Wein, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity
“I found myself mesmerized by Sarah’s journey into a world of human monsters. Orphan Monster Spy weaves one heroine’s courage through a spectrum of darkness, and the effects resonate long after the final page.” —Ryan Graudin, award-winning author of the Wolf By Wolf duology
“Killeen expertly conjures the day-to-day evil of Nazi Germany in this terrific page turner.”—Paul Dowswell, award-winning author of The Auslander
"A powerful, bleak, and penetrating portrait of an isolated young woman excelling in unimaginable danger."—Kirkus Reviews