Book Snow Treasure
Snow Treasure is a children's novel by Marie McSwigan. Set in Nazi-occupied Norway during World War II, it recounts the story of several Norwegian children who use sleds to smuggle their country's gold bullion past German guards to a waiting ship, the Cleng Peerson. Published in 1942, it has been in print ever since. The book was made into a film of the same name in 1968, directed by Irving Jacoby.
Book Snow Treasure
The book is set in Norway in 1940, and starts out with four Norwegian children, Peter, Michael, Helga, and Lovisa playing on their sleds after school. Later, when the children are in bed, Peter wakes up to hear several men talking downstairs and goes down to eavesdrop. The men; Including Peter's uncle and father, need to smuggle gold past the Nazis, who have not yet invaded Norway. Peter's uncle, Uncle Victor, sees Peter and tells the other men that the solution to their problem lies with the children.
The characters and some of the events described are fiction, but the story may have some basis in fact. A cargo of gold bullion, worth $9,000,000, arrived by the freighter Bomma in Baltimore on 28 June 1940. The ship's captain reported that the gold was smuggled past the Germans by Norwegian children on their sleds. The book is often described as being "based on a true story." McSwigan stated in an author's note "that she [had] tried to be as accurate as possible in describing how the children carried the gold on sleds" while admitting that some details were changed. A journalist by trade, she wrote in 1960: "Some of my children's books are based on actual happenings. Over and over, an Associated Press dispatch or one from United-International has set me to wondering: What kind of patriots were those Norwegians who saved their gold by having their children sled it down a mountain past the occupation forces, as I subsequently made my characters do in Snow Treasure? Or what was he like, the real 'sixteen-year-old who, on a homemade portable radio transmitter, broadcast resistance against the Japanese as did my Juan of Manila? Or, what about those Czechs who stole a railway train and drove it into West Germany, as mine would do in All Aboard for Freedom? These stories came out of the newspapers." In the book's foreword McSwigan also asserted: "This story is based on an actual happening. On June 28, 1940, the Norwegian freighter Bomma reached Baltimore with a cargo of gold bullion worth $9,000,000... Two changes were made in the scant account given in the news dispatches that accompanied the disclosure of the cargo of gold. The Bomma, a coasting motorship, became the Cleng Peerson, a fishing smack. Also, the distance the gold was sledded was not twelve miles but actually thirty-five miles. Otherwise, how the Norse children set about eluding the German forces of occupation is here reconstructed as well as possible from what brief facts were permitted."
Speaking in 2001, O.C. Holm, an expert on World War II Norwegian shipping, said "Many think the story is true. It is not." While confirming that the Bomma did transport kr40,000,000 worth of Norway's gold to Baltimore, Siri Holm Lawson states that "[the book] may be based on the above event, or one of the other Norwegian ships transporting gold to the U.S., but the story itself is fiction."
Snow Treasure Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis tohelp you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:Plot SummaryChaptersCharactersSymbols and SymbolismSettingsThemes and MotifsStyles This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz onSnow Treasure by Marie McSwigan.Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan is historical fiction based on the real life accounts of the children of Norway who helped to smuggle out the nation's gold reserves under the noses of the occupying German military during World War II.
The novel begins by introducing four children: Peter (13), Lovisa (10), Michael (12), and Helga (11). They are playing in the snow, which has remained later into the season than usual, when they see Peter's Uncle Victor and his first mate, Rolls, coming over the hill from the seaport. They all wave enthusiastically, but are concerned when Victor hardly acknowledges them. This is unusual for Peter's normally gregarious Uncle.
They manage to get past the German soldiers as the Captain of the soldiers tells his men to stand aside to let the children through. He even tells Peter as he comes past that he used to enjoy sledding when he was a boy. When the children reach the bottom of the hill, they pull their sleds to a prearranged clearing, find two submerged trees, and then they bury the bricks as Victor has shown them. Then, to mark the spots so that Victor and Rolls can come under cover of night to get the bricks and load them onto the boat, the children are to build snowmen. This they do.
The sledding by the teams begins in earnest and half of the bricks are taken down the mountain when the weather threatens to shift. If it rains then the snow will melt and there will be no more sledding, and no more way to get the gold safely down the mountain. However, Per Garson, the man who works for Peter's family, says that his trick knee says that it will be fine. It is. That night the weather turns into a blizzard and everyone is snowed in for three days straight.
The gold continues to go down, and it is after Peter has just finished burying his gold and making his snowman when he feels he is being watched again. He quickly looks up and sees the blue-eyed soldier standing over him. Peter falls back into the snow, but before anything more can happen, Victor and Rolls come out of the trees and capture the German soldier. They take him back to their boat, the Cleng Peerson. Peter follows them.
The next day the children have just finished building their snowmen when the Commandant shows up at the clearing. He asks Lovisa if she's seen a German soldier lost in the woods. Lovisa just stares up at him and refuses to speak. The Commandant becomes enraged and begins knocking her snowman down. Panicked, Peter picks up a snowball and hits the Commandant with it, then runs away. The diversion works and all of them chase Peter. Unfortunately, he is caught and placed in a jail cell in the German camp.
An actual incident in which Norwegian children smuggled gold past the Nazis is the basis for this story of courage and patriotismExplore this bookExploreSimilar books
Book lists with this bookWhy do people like this book?TopicsThe German occupation of EuropeNorwayCourageWorld War 2GenresComing soon...PreviewBookshop.orgAmazonShepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website.(learn more)
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17 ReviewsReviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identifiedWrite reviewSnow TreasureBy Marie McSwigan if (window['_OC_autoDir']) _OC_autoDir('search_form_input');About this book
Our recent family book club pick was a book that has been around for quite some time. If you are looking for a classic read during the cold Winter months, Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan is based on an actual event in Norway during World War II. During the war, Norwegian children used their sleds to carry gold bullion and managed to slip by Nazi sentries to a freighter hidden in a fjord. This is a fascinating story of courage and adventure that will appeal to both girls and boys ages 8 and up!
My kids loved Snow Treasure so much that they recommended it to their teachers, donated copies to their classrooms, and even gifted it to their friends. Reading this book together was one of their favorite Winter break memories!
REVIEW: It is not certain if this story is true or not. For many years it was believed to be true, but there is no proof that it ever really happened. It is an entertaining book that gives a happier and more adventurous story about World War ll. I think it would be a good class novel to read as a follow-up to The Diary of Anne Frank.
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