Marvelous Middle Grade Monday – THE BELGIAN TWINS by Lucy Fitch Perkins

My mother's first edition copy

Before I start this week’s MMGM I just want to say: STAY TUNED FOR A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT COMING THIS WEEK OR NEXT!

Once again, I must go back into the vast historic vault of my childhood reading. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have read THE BELGIAN TWINS. I’m not at all embarrassed to admit that I cry every time. Lucy Fitch Perkins is not a famous classic author like  Frances Hodgson Burnett or Louisa May Alcott but for THE BELGIAN TWINS at least, I think she deserves to be. I have long wondered why her books haven’t had the longevity of other classics. I think the answer may lie in the fact that long after she stopped writing them, the “twins” format was replicated with much less success by other authors.

First published in 1917, THE BELGIAN TWINS is about a twin boy and girl who are separated from their parents during WWI, and go on a dangerous adventure through occupied Belgium in search of them.

This something like a perfect adventure story for someone like me. It has the survival and historical aspects that I have always loved, coupled with a kind of unabashed sentimentality that gets me every time. It is, on the one hand, quite realistic about the horrors of war, but on the other hand a gentle enough treatment to suit very young readers.

It’s a relatively short book at just over 35,000 words and despite being a “classic”, uses very simple language, making it suitable for younger less experienced readers. THE BELGIAN TWINS is out of copyright, but in print with at least one print publisher. It is also available for free at The Gutenberg Project. Download it! You won’t regret it!

Next: I can’t wait to read THE SUPERNATURALIST by Eion Colfer. I wasn’t a huge fan of the whole ARTEMIS FOWL thing, but this one looks darn cool.  The new cover kicks butt!  ARC me someone, this book comes out in August!

For other Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts check out these blogs:

14 thoughts on “Marvelous Middle Grade Monday – THE BELGIAN TWINS by Lucy Fitch Perkins

  1. I hadn’t heard of The Belgian Twins before but looks like the kind of book I would have loved as a kid (and now!). I was raised on The Bobbsey Twins which I loved because they got to travel. I loved WWII stories too. Will check it out. Thanks!

  2. I have never heard of The Belgian Twins, but it sounds wonderful. Isn’t it great that out of print books are still available from The Gutenberg Project? Thanks, Gabrielle!

  3. This one is completely new to me. I will try downloading asap.
    I do have to agree with you, Artemis F is hard for me to get into. Something about the kid’s attitude.
    Let us know if you ever read The Supernaturalist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s