Friday, December 10, 2021

Unputdownable! Sharon Cameron's BLUEBIRD


‎Scholastic Press, 2021
In the normal course of events, I request books to review. And so I was surprised to get a package from Scholastic. Had I asked for a book and forgotten about it? Nope. Inside was a young adult novel that I never would have looked at, much less cracked the covers of, had it not ended up in my mailbox. By mistake? By fate? Who knows. 

Good thing it did, though, because I love a good story. Especially when it is grounded in fact and history. And doubly especially when it is written so well I just have to read another dozen (or 50) pages - even if it is one in the morning! 

The opening chapter introduces Eva, standing on the deck of a ship and gazing at the sea before her and the city approaching. It’s August 1946 and she has left behind a world of burning rubble. She gathers her suitcase and that of Brigit, who does not speak. She gathers their papers, and checks to make sure her secret documents are safely hidden. Then, together they follow their guide down the gangplank and into immigration.

America is bright, and friendly – and Eva and Brigit are here ostensibly to begin a new life. Eva has come for justice. She has come to search for a Nazi physician responsible for conducting horrific medical experiments on prisoners in concentration camps. She has come to uncover secrets, with hope of bringing this person to justice before the US government recruits him for their own dark programs. She has come to dig for the truth about Project Bluebird.

Eva has also come to protect Brigit, and help her recover from the horrible suffering at the hands of soldiers. Chapters alternate between 1946 America and war-torn Germany. We see flashes of Eva’s childhood as a schoolgirl under the Nazi regime. Living in Germany, Eva knew no hardship (her household included servants). But as she begins uncovering clues, dark memories begin to surface and Eva wonders about her place in her family. And now she is being followed by mysterious men.

Eva eventually finds a job and covers the hospital expenses so that Brigit can get treatment. As Brigit regains her memories, we learn how the two girls are connected – and we see how their experiences translate into different views of the world they now find themselves in.

What I like about this book: Sharon Cameron paints a detailed picture of an American city post-war. Her characters are so three-dimensional they could walk out of the book and carry on a conversation with you. But what I really like is the backmatter. Sharon adds a dozen pages of well-researched material that provides historical context and perspective for her story and the era. It should come as no surprise that Germany was not the only one conducting research on human subjects during the war.


  1. This sounds like a really good book. I do love historical fiction, but I hardly ever read outside of MG, just because of time. I'll put it on my list though. Who knows? I might get to it. You make it sound so tempting.

    1. Not as fast a read as MG, but oh! The depth! definitely worth a read if you have some time to hibernate.

  2. This sounds like a fascinating page-turner. Thanks for the rec!