When twelve-year-old Johnny Littlehorn’s father returns from the front lines, after WWII is over, and announces they’re spending the summer in France, Johnny doesn’t want to leave their Wyoming ranch. But what starts off as a boring trip soon turns into a frightening adventure. A sinister man trails Johnny throughout Paris and follows him to his uncle’s village of St. Chamant.
With the help of his new friends, Suzanne and Charles, Johnny follows a winding trail that leads to a fugitive spy, a German pistolet hidden in a loaf of bread and a stolen fortune. Before long, he’s learning French, helping his oncle Paul build an avion, and unraveling an evil Nazi plot!
Original illustrations by Richard Floethe. Cover by Jamin Still, take a look at more of his work jaminstill.com
Excellent review from Plumfield and Paideia!
“I can’t think of many, if any, stories with such an engaging blend of suspense, thrills, mystery, humor—and, yes, I have to say: charm. Plus, giving the reader, bit by bit, a remarkably good working knowledge of French without tears. More significant, I think it shows that young people can learn a lot more and a lot sooner than one might imagine. Don’t be timid about giving kids a chance to learn quickly about a great many things.”
—Lloyd Alexander, French linguist and Newbery Medal winner for The High King
“Full of vitality and suspense… The most ingenious feature of the book is the fascinating way in which Johnny learned to speak French. This is a wholly new idea in a story, worth of special notice.” —The Horn Book
“[The Avion My Uncle Flew] is one of the few instances when the most transitory form of fiction—the mystery-adventure-spy story—makes a permanent contribution not only to boys’ books but to understanding how a boy’s mind works and how, on occasion, he can change it.”
—New York Herald Tribune
“Seldom do we find so happy a combination of charm of style, local color, humor and thumping good adventure as is set forth in this tale.… Highly recommended.” —Library Journal
“A real find: a fresh and lively book, original in conception and vigorously written—sure-fire entertainment.” —The New Yorker
“A compelling and original story…[a] book with vigor, strong action and a delightfully Gallic air.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Over and above the fascinating story, [The Avion My Uncle Flew] contains an element new to children’s fiction. You will probably say, as I did, ‘Why didn’t someone think of this before?’ Well, no one did—until now.” —The New York Times Book Review