Behind Enemy Lines

By: Carol Matas

About the author

Carol Matas was born in Winnipeg Manitoba on November 14 1949. her long list of awards includes the Geoffrey Bilson award, Mr.Christie honour book and the Governor General's Literary Award . Carol is a graduate of actor's lab in London, England and earned her B.A. at the University of Western Ontario. she write's most of her books about the holocaust. she does this because she says that she wants to tell the story's of the many people that died who couldn't get there story told. after reading Behind Enemy Lines I can't recommend Carol Matas's books enough.


Behind enemy lines is fictional story based on real events during world war II. when the main character Sam Frederiksens plane is downed by a German fighter pilot over Nazi occupied France, His duty is to get back to England to fly more missions. Until he returns he must work with the resistance to sabotage enemy communications and supply lines. If he is caught in his efforts he may be sent to a concentration camp or be executed as a spy.

I personally thought this book was amazing, there was a lot of action suspense and overall it was a joy to read. The first person view suits the theme very well and it makes you feel like you are fighting the battle with Sam. After every chapter ended it made me want to read another it was addicting. Carol Matas uses great imagery that helps you visualize the setting and what it would be like to be in the characters shoes. This books only weakness is that the story is based on a very sensitive topic. This factor might deter a reader that isn’t accustom to violence or such a real life topic

I wouldn’t recommend this book to younger readers as it is based on a very sensitive topic. This book is most suitable to readers 13 and up and I suggest that the reader asks there parent or teacher about things they don’t understand. Doing this can help get a better understanding of the message that Carol Matas is trying to send. I would highly recommend this book to any mature reader that is interested in war history.

Behind enemy lines was really a great book to read and I will definitely read it again. I look forward to reading more of Carol Matas's books in the future.

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Main Characters


Sam Fredriksen

Sam Fredriksen is the main character in Behind Enemy Lines. I would describe Sam as being intelligent, brave, thoughtful and over all a likeable respectful person. Sam always looks out for others, he puts himself in other's shoes and will always lend a hand.

However, when times get tough he can become awfully pessimistic. I think that Sam was the perfect character to tell the story.

Other Main Character


Tom is one of the pilots in Sam's bomber that was shot down . At first we didn’t meet Tom but after a few chapters Tom and Sam reunited . Tom seemed to try to find the best of every situation even when things weren’t looking too bright . You could maybe say that that Tom is a foil to Sam when you look at their attitude towards tough times. For the brief time that Tom was in the book you could really tell what kind of person he was.


The German Military

All of the German soldiers were not described in depth or detail, so I would say that they are flat characters. They all were quite mean, strict and at no point were they forgiving or thoughtful to all the people they were hurting.

Moment of impact

My favorite part of the story has to be when Sam's plane is downed by a German fighter pilot. This part of the book wasn't joyful at all but the way the author wrote it was excellent. She used great dialogue to help me imagine the intensity and the mood in the bomber as it was going down. When I read "bail out boys bail out bail out'' my heart started racing. I was glued to the page when I was reading that chapter and once I was finished I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was the best part of the book, and in my eyes one of the best parts of any book
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The Pitch

If I were to say the things that make this book great they would be that the story has well balanced traits. For instance the book offers great foreshadowing but it does not give away the climax or any key moments. One of my favorite traits is the symbolism that Carol Matas used to help the reader picture the situation and the setting. You're hooked at the start and satisfied at the finish. The rising action build's suspense to the point that you can't stop reading. The conclusion wraps the story up well but still has a you wondering about what happened to the other men that were shot down over France. Overall the thing that makes this book great is the book itself. Every sentence, every paragraph is written with pure excellence and I would never think twice about reading this book again.