Beneath a Scarlet Sky

cover of book Beneath a Scarlet SkyBook Title & Author:
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Why do you think the LSSU Campus should read this book? How will it build community? start conversations? encourage social engagement? empower critical thinking? Will it inspire an engaging TEDxLSSU theme?
A historical fiction about the resistance to the Nazis as Italy was occupied. It was a pretty fast read, with some good heavy discussion topics.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky has a good example of building community among the resistance to the Nazi regime in occupied Italy.  There is a sense of needing to unite among many characters, there is heroism in helping Jews escape the Nazis, and the main character who becomes the driver for a Nazi general so has to balance his hatred with giving to the greater good to spy for the allies.  There is a lesson about speaking out for right and against wrong and the incredible cost of not doing so.

Description from publisher’s site:
“Based on the true story of a forgotten hero…Beneath a Scarlet Sky is the triumphant, epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience during one of history’s darkest hours.
Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.
In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich’s most mysterious and powerful commanders.
Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share.”

Additional Information: This book is available in both audio and Kindle formats.  This book is currently being used at the University of Michigan as part of their Honors Reads program.

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