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Edelweiss Pirates #2

The Edelweiss Express

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13-year-old Jacob Mandel has it all: a loving family, nice home but nothing prepared him for what happened when the Nazi’s take his entire family away to a concentration camp. Miraculously he escapes and survives by clinging to the one thing that gives him hope, his faith. But when he falls into the hands of the Hitler Youth he discovers they have a secret…. When the Edelweiss Pirates come across a death train packed with Jewish prisoners bound for a concentration camp they do the unthinkable… but at what cost?

253 pages, Paperback

Published February 14, 2017

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About the author

Mark A. Cooper

18 books159 followers
Mark A. Cooper is ranked alongside Enid Blyton and Anthony Horowitz as "The most original and best spy-kids authors of the century." (New York Times).

The first book in his Jason Steed series was self-published in 2008. Since then the series has won over fans across the world with its mix of action, emotion and coming of age originality.
Mark was snapped up by the Barbara Zitwer agency and since has written 4 more in the series now published by Sourcebooks.

Mark has spent many years interviewing ex-Edelweiss Pirate and Hitler Youth members across the globe and he is seen as the foremost expert on The Edelweiss Pirates. The novels are fiction based on actual events that happened between 1936-1945 in Germany.

Fictionreviwer.com named 'Fledgling Jason Steed' Young adult book of the year 2009. The book was also voted as finalist in the 2009 'Indie book Awards'. In 2013 in the Beverly Hills Book Awards it came first in Juvenile fiction.

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5 stars
101 (46%)
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101 (46%)
3 stars
14 (6%)
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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for Chris Horsefield.
110 reviews121 followers
July 12, 2018
This is the longest short book I've ever read. It is one that has stayed with me from the first page, and I've never been able to shake the images brought forward, the misery and suffering, the existence of evil and brutality, the sadness and desolation. We live in a culture that likes to gloss over pain and suffering, mask it with drugs and other things, and always end the story with a happy ending.
How does one deal with survival after such atrocities as that at a concentration camp? How can one have faith in the world? How can one accept that a people so closely identified with a powerful God can ever accept that God again?
To bring the true horror of the holocaust, make it real and write for young adults could not be an easy task. Bringing laughter into the very same novel at a fast pace that attracts young minds is an art not many authors can perform.
Let's be honest, this is a true young adult novel set for 9-14 year olds, no sex, no cursing, plenty of teenage pranks on the back drop of the plight of a 13-yr old boy. The author tells the story in a simple manner. The boy's faith never left him, even when one of his rescuers an Edelweiss Pirate said to him that God would not help, just like he did not save his family. Lucas replied. “You are wrong. God did help. He lead me to you,”
The author pauses and leaves us looking at two teenage boys struggling to come to terms with the situation, a bond formed between them that seemed so real.
When we think of concentration camps so often it is the gas chambers that is foremost, and never before have I read an account of the actual gas chambers. A ten-year old boy clinging to his naked parent's and his last word's. "I hope the water's not going to be cold." The events of what happened over the next three sentences were not an attempt to shock: it will go down as one of the most definitive works on Holocaust literature, yet...... It's a teen novel, full of pranks by the Edelweiss Pirates attacking the Hitler Youth. A typical good guy /bad guy situation. The novel had me laughing, crying, on the edge of my seat and most of all, more than all that. It made me think how lucky we are today.
The authors works have always been described as tenth grade standard, he's no Shakespeare but kids don't read Shakespeare.
Profile Image for Emma Aldridge.
14 reviews5 followers
March 11, 2017
When a boy named Lucas, barely a teenager, is taken away from his family in extremely horrendous circumstances – he must become older than his years so he can be strong and survive what is in front of him: Death. Sadness. Hunger. The worst conditions you could imagine. You won’t believe what he goes through. This book will make you think of the people that suffered through similar things; while this book is fiction it does have facts of what the Jewish people went through during the War at the hands of the Nazi’s. Along the way, Lucas meets the Edelweiss Pirates, they are undercover.
They band together to do what they can to defy the Nazi’s and help who they can, making some close calls along the way!
This book will hit you right in the heart and have you on the edge of your seat until the very end – You will be constantly asking yourself this question: will they make it out alive?
21 reviews
March 10, 2017
I enjoy the author Jason Steed series and while I enjoyed it,Historically the story was a great read. As far as the story itself, it was a little dry and too simple to read.
Profile Image for P J Best.
4 reviews
March 8, 2017
I was so excited when book 2 came out, I read it in two days.
The story started the same as the last book, with the Pirates getting up to mischief and plotting against the Hitler Youth and Nazi's. Then we switch to a German family, who are thrown out of there home just for being Jewish. The story follows them to a concentration camp, it was pretty horrific what they put 13 yr old Lucas through, he was all alone and had nothing left but his faith and somehow it gave him the strength to run.
The story got exciting when he was chased by a group of Hitler Youth wanting his blood, he stumbles across the Edelweiss Pirates.
From here we have a cat and mouse chase across Germany, the story was very funny in some places, what the Pirates did to a Nasty Hitler Youth leader while he was sleeping was hilarious, but other parts the story had me scared and almost crying.
If you like the Boy in Stripped Pajamas, Anne Frank and young Spy books , like Alex Rider and Jason Steed books like that you will like it.
Profile Image for Steve Fincher.
15 reviews
October 29, 2018
5 Stars.
I read book 1 at school when we had to read a book on how the holocaust effected teenagers. I liked it and gave it 4 stars and asked my mum to get me this book.
It was as if it was written by a different author, I felt as if I was with the characters, living with them. Here is my favorite quote from the book. “Lucas heard a strange sound, something he hadn’t heard in months. At first it didn’t seem real, it was something distant from the past. It was the first time in nearly a year he had heard himself laugh, and it momentarily stunned him”
I am not religious we say a prayer at school at my nans we say grace before eating, but this made me look a bit deeper.
My favorite books are Harry Potter and also the Hunger games series. Although this is also a YA book and the Pirates get up to all sorts of naughty stuff, it felt very grown up and is probably the only book I still think about. After reading what happened in a gas chamber I now know how lucky I am and no matter how life gets how bad I do at school or how many names people call me or bully me. I am very lucky
Profile Image for Lana Campbell.
Author 19 books147 followers
April 5, 2017
This is a great story about German youth during WW2. The story is told through the eyes of Fredrick who is telling the story to his grandson as an old man. He was part of a anti-Hitler youth brocade during the war called the Edelweiss Pirates. These brave youth risked their lives to save Jewish people from the clutches of the Nazis. In one instance Fredrick and his companions discover a young boy named Lucus who escaped from a concentration camp and they help him flee Germany. Fredrick and Lucus steal an old steam engine and set out for Switzerland. Mind you these boys are just about fourteen years old. Along the way they come across a train with cattle cars holding hundreds of Jewish prisoners. The lads steal the cattle cars right out from underneath the Nazi's noses and take off with the prisoners later freeing them and helping them get to Switzerland too. Edelweiss Pirates was a magnificent story full of action and antics of these pirate boys and girls determined to do their part to save Germany from the evil clutches of Hitler. A must read. Good job Mark!
1 review23 followers
June 23, 2017
Probably on of the greatest young adult novels, that covers the Holocaust.
The Edelweiss Pirates are a brazen bunch of German teens, rebels, anti government, only in the case the government is the Nazi party.
The author was clever to add humor and emotion with the tragedy of the holocaust. An amazing novel, written for tweens and teens but enjoyed by big kids like me with an interest in history.
Profile Image for Woody.
1 review
September 3, 2017
WW2 young Adult fiction was not really my genre, but I like the Cherub series by Robert Muchamore who also wrote the WW2 novels Hendersons boys and I really like the Jason Steed series by Mark A. Cooper so of course I picked up the Edelweiss Pirate novels.
Book 1, Operation Einstein was great, it was funny in some parts plenty of action in others and sad in tother. However nothing could have prepared me for book 2, Edelweiss Express. It was so good I read it twice in a row.
The Pirates are up to their normal tricks against the Hitler Youth, but the story is in two parts and we read about Lucas Mandel and his family a German 13 year old Jewish youth.
The story was so moving it brought me to tears and I am quite tough I don't normally cry but this got to me. At one point Lucas had given up, he had escaped from the concentration camp after witnessing some really terrible things, he was cold, hungry and suffering from typhoid. His faith kept him going and lucky for him when he was being chased by the Hitler Youth he was caught by a group who were actually 'Edelweiss Pirates' they had only joined the Hitler Youth so they would not be suspected and it was law.
Eventually they got him back on his feet after feeding him and taking him in although hidden.
One simple sentence brought it home to me, Here is the Quote;

“Lucas heard a strange sound, something he hadn’t heard in months. At first it didn’t seem real, it was something distant from the past. It was the first time in nearly a year he had heard himself laugh, and it momentarily stunned him”

If you like Book Thief, Boy in Stripped Pajamas you will enjoy this. Read book 1 first, but book 2 is soul reaching.
Profile Image for Kaleb Hall.
2 reviews
July 12, 2021
I almost didn't read this, book 1 in the series I only gave 3 stars, it was ok, but I like the authors novels so I went with this one book 2.

The author seems to have grown up, it blew me away, I stopped doing my homework, stopped gaming and had to finish it. It put me in the concentration camp, being unclean, starving and each day not knowing of you will survive to the next. But, somehow, the story was light, plenty of funny bits and lots of action. If I could give more than 5 stars I would, if any novel deserves to be a movie this does.
321 reviews
September 16, 2017
Another great book from Mark A. Cooper! Although my edtition (kindle) has an issue with spaces between every few letters that repeats often. While that may become distracting quite quicky, it was a nice book.

As always, can't wait for the next one!
40 reviews
December 2, 2019
Jacob Mandel is a typical 13-year old boy in Germany. He lives a typical life with his family, until they are all shipped to concentration camps by the Nazis. He miraculously escapes and clings to the one thing he has left- his faith. He soon learns that what happens when the Edelweiss Pirates come across death trains of Jewish prisoners, and it is unthinkable.

I thought this was a good book. It addresses a tough topic in a kid friendly way. It is geared more towards older kids. They can learn about the unthinkable things that happened in this time period.

I would use this in an older classroom when teaching about the Holocaust. It allows the students to see a character and relate it back to what they are learning in social studies.
Profile Image for Deb Cohen.
8 reviews
January 14, 2022
Probably one of the cleverest books I have read. The author puts in a young reader, makes if funny, emotional, exciting yet delivers some of the best chapters ever written in a Holocaust Concentration camp.

Amazing how they could be combined, my students (I am a middle school teacher) enjoyed this over any other Holocaust novel.

“Lucas heard a strange sound, something he hadn’t heard in months. At first it didn’t seem real, it was something distant from the past. It was the first time in nearly a year he had heard himself laugh, and it momentarily stunned him”

I would strongly recommend to children aged 10+ and adults.
4 reviews
August 12, 2022

Brilliant, I really enjoyed reading this book and looking forward to seeing and reading more about Edelweiss pirates.

Great read, ready to read the 2nd instalment.
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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