Touch the Sky

by Robert Elmer
Series: The Young Underground #8
176 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Ariel_of_Narnia

Great characters, great story, great values, and great joy of the truest kind.


Peter Anderson thinks there's something fishy about Matthias Karlsson. So does his friend Henrik, though his sister Elise is less sure. When investigating Matthias' case, they are surprised to find that they aren't the only ones spying on the man. And when this shady character continues to pop up around them, they're certain something is up. But what he's up to and why he's keeping track of whatever Matthias is up to are pieces of the puzzle that need to fit before something terrible happens.


The Andersons love to help the Melchiors as they are able, especially with the probability of the latter moving to Palestine soon. All are quick to aid those they care about. Matthias apologizes for having demanded so quick a decision on Mrs. Melchior's part.

Peter and Henrik sneak out at night to spy on Matthias; they are made to apologize. Henrik starts to let air out of a car's tires, mistakenly thinking that it belongs to the strange spy.

Spiritual Content

Peter, Elise, Uncle Morten, and Aunt Lisabeth are Christians. They meet up with a pastor friend. The Melchiors and Matthias are Jews. A bar-mitzvah is mentioned. Henrik asks Peter a pointed question about sharing his Christian faith. Later, we find that Henrik has read the New Testament and his life changes. He even holds a church service in a hospital, enthusiastically reading the Bible in front of the group. He tells his mother of his decision to follow Christ.


Peter lets his imagination go a little wild with the options of what Matthias does with a gun.
Matthias blacks out during a flight, leaving Peter and Henrik to try to keep the plane from crash-landing. Grandfather Anderson is shoved by someone, causing him to fall. A car barrels down a narrow road, narrowly missing Peter; the car door is opened to ram into Henrik's bike on purpose (Henrik is unharmed beyond a few scratches). A speedboat causes the kids' canoe to capsize. Elise has two brushes with death and is threatened with a gun. A man falls out of a plane unharmed. It is implied that a dog is shot. A character is shot and loses a good deal of blood. A plane crash-lands precariously. Peter takes a risk on a plane in mid-air.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content

The worst it gets is someone calling another a "dirty Jew".


With the flair of internationally-connected danger, "Touch the Sky" is a great ending for "The Young Underground". Given the information gleaned throughout the story and the historical blurb at the back, it is also a good connector to the "Promise of Zion" series, where we follow the journey of Jews returning to Israel a couple years after this series ends.

As a side note, you can meet up with Henrik Melchior again in books 2 and 6 of "Promise of Zion".

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

Review Rating:

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