Giveaway and Review for Boy From Berlin by Nancy McDonald

In this post I am reviewing BOY FROM BERLIN by Nancy McDonald. Stay tuned for my review on SEPTEMBER 18,2020 for ONE.BOY’S WAR, the sequel to BOY FROM BERLIN. You don’t want to miss this review!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Boy from Berlin by Nancy McDonald
Category: Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  142 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher:  Iguana Books
Release date:   May 7, 2018
Format available for review:  PDF
Tour dates: September 14 to October 2, 2020
Content Rating:  G. There is no violence, bad language etc. in this book.

Book Description:

Berlin, April 1938. One night, eight-year-old Käfer Avigdor uses his specialty toilet-paper roll binoculars to spy on his Mama and Aunt Charlotte. The whispered conversation he overhears alerts him to a danger he didn’t know existed and starts him rethinking who he really is and where he belongs. Within hours, Käfer and his family flee their comfortable life. In a desperate race to stay one step ahead of the Nazis, Käfer is called on to be braver and more resourceful than he ever imagined possible. But will it be enough? Boy from Berlin is based on real people and actual events.

Guest Blog

There’s no better place to write than…  by Nancy McDonald, author of Boy from Berlin and One Boy’s War

Every author has a favourite writing spot. Joseph Kanon’s is a cubicle in one of the research rooms at the New York Public Library. Neil Gaiman often rents a little cabin with no cellphone signal or Internet. And, J.K. Rowling famously penned the first Harry Potter sitting in a café in Edinburgh.

I walk the river.

I’m blessed to live in Stratford, Ontario, which like its more famous English namesake, has an Avon River. On the mornings that I write, I’m up early and off around the river by 7:00 am. I wake up with an idea for the scene I’m planning to write that day—it’s been perking in my mind as I sleep—and as I go around the river, I compose it in my head, complete with dialogue. The scene is pretty well fleshed out by the time I get home, so I pour a cup of coffee, sit down at the computer and write it. In silence. I find music far too distracting. I spend the rest of the day editing it. Sometimes, when I’m having trouble with a scene– something’s missing or just “off” – I’ll put on my walking shoes and go for another walk, usually on a nearby nature trail. The problem is nearly always solved by the time I arrive back.

The only drawback to this method that I’ve found so far is that I’m sometimes so immersed in the scene that I turn a corner on a path and walk into someone – literally! Fortunately, Stratfordites are a pleasant bunch and nearly always laugh it off.

And an interview with the Author

Q: What is your favourite setting for a novel you’re written?

A: I’d have to say Claridge’s. It’s a historic hotel right in the heart of London. It makes a cameo appearance in Boy from Berlin, but takes centre stage in the sequel, One Boy’s War. During WWII it was a favourite of politicians, exiled heads of state, journalists – and spies, which is why I chose it. To ensure authenticity, I spent several days in London, one of my favourite cities in the world! I was given an upstairs/downstairs tour of Claridge’s by the manager of guest services. That’s one of the things I love about being a writer. You have an entrée into places you’d normally never get to go.

Q: Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

A: My first two novels, Boy from Berlin and One Boy’s War, are inspired by my husband’s family’s real-life flight from the Nazis, running from Berlin first to The Hague and then to London. Shortly after my husband died, I came across some letters I’d never seen before written by his father to the British Home Office and the Air Ministry. My father-in-law, who was Jewish, was a very talented aeronautical engineer who invented a game-changing fuel pump that could help the  Nazis win the war. The letters provided a skeleton for the stories; actual historical events—and my own imagination—provided the flesh.

Q: How much of your personality goes into your stories?

A: Probably more than I think! The voice in these two novels is my late husband’s – as a young child – but I’m sure some of me crept in there.


In Nancy McDonald’s Boy from Berlin, the Avigdor family meet their very difficult struggles as they are forced to leave their home and most of their possessions as the flee Germany and the Nazi war. And though this story is fiction, it is based on the lives of real people, and real life historical events. Which was very intriguing for me, to know these things really happened, and what it could have been like for young Kafer and his family.

Ms. McDonald does a great job of researching the historical events to write this compelling story. I grew attached to the Avigdor family as I read their story and at times was on the edge of my seat as they had to flee their home. This had to be difficult for the entire family, especially the young children. My heart went out to the children, and also I couldn’t help but think about the back in their day and what the real life people had to deal with.

Another thing I found intriguing is that this story is told through the eyes of the young Kafer Avigdor. I though it very nice getting to know the story we have read so much about through the eyes of someone with an Altogether different view. If you love those WWII stories, this is one to add to your stash! And check back for the review of Book two, One Boy’s War, coming to this blog Sept. 18th! Boy from Belin gets a solid 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐ from me!

A special thanks to the author/publisher and iRead Book tours for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Buy Now:
Amazon ~
Chapters ~ Barnes & Noble ~IndieBound

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Add to Goodreads

Raves for Boy From Berlin by Nancy McDonald:

“Inspired by a true story, Boy from Berlin shares a unique voice in the Holocaust. Highly recommended!”
 Jennifer Roy, author of Yellow Star, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award.

“A compelling introduction to themes of war, courage and identity, certain to engage young readers.” –Trilby Kent, author of Stones for my Father, winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Literary Award.


Meet the Author:

Nancy McDonald began her career as a journalist on television programs that include W5, Canada AM, and Marketplace before going on to become a sought-after freelance writer, penning everything from documentaries to live-action scripts to comic books. One Boy’s War is the highly anticipated sequel to Boy from Berlin. Nancy lives in Stratford, Ontario, where she revels in Shakespeare, takes theatergoers on tours of the Costume Warehouse, and treads the boards with the Perth County Players. She also works part-time at Fanfare Books, Stratford’s only independent bookseller.

connect with the author:   website ~ twitter ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Sep 14 –Splashes of Joy – book review of Boy from Berlin / guest post / author interview / giveaway
Sep 14 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of Boy from Berlin / giveaway
Sep 14 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight
Sep 15 – I’m Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 15 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Sep 16 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Boy from Berlin / giveaway
Sep 17 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Sep 17 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 18 – Splashes of Joy – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Sep 18 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review of Boy from Berlin / giveaway
Sep 21 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Boy from Berlin / guest post / giveaway
Sep 22 – Pen Possessed – book review of One Boy’s War
Sep 22 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 23 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Boy from Berlin / giveaway
Sep 23 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Sep 24 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 24 – Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review of One Boy’s War
Sep 25 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 25 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review of Boy from Berlin / giveaway
Sep 28 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Sep 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 29 – – book spotlight
Sep 30 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Oct 1 – Connie’s History Classroom – book review of Boy from Berlin
Oct 1 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review of One Boy’s War / guest post / giveaway
Oct 2 – Connie’s History Classroom – book review of One Boy’s War
Oct 2 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Oct 2 – Hall Ways Blog – book spotlight / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nancy McDonald
    Sep 14, 2020 @ 12:08:13

    Thanks Joy! I’m so pleased you enjoyed reading Boy from Berlin and recommend it for people who are fans of WW2 fiction. I can’t wait to hear what you think about One Boy’s War!



  2. Trackback: One Boy’s War by Nancy McDonald | splashesofjoy

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