"Gripping, gritty, and tremendously poignant. In The Pact, Amanda West Lewis powerfully reveals the flipside of war through a unique perspective. With great empathy, Lewis depicts the inner and outer battles fought by young Peter Gruber — loving son, loyal friend, and Hitler Youth recruit. Her masterful telling takes us from simply knowing history to truly feeling his story. A riveting historical read for both the head and the heart."
— Caroline Pignat, two time winner of the Governor Generals' Literary Award
"How does an entire country sleepwalk into intolerance, dictatorship, insanity, war? The Pact unfolds with the smell, the sound and feel of utter reality, in the form of the life of one simple boy being pushed, inescapably, into the uniform of the SS. Essential reading from a new, bright light in historical fiction, Amanda West Lewis."
--- Alan Cumyn, award winning author of The Sojourn.
"The Pact speaks to a new generation of readers who want to understand how wars happen, and fills that immeasurable silence with compassion and understanding. By showing how rhetoric and propaganda affect young lives on both sides of the conflict, Lewis provides an important lesson for our time."
--- Wayne Grady, award winning author of Emancipation Day.
“THE PACT… will transfix readers with the story of war from a rare perspective, that of a child growing up in Germany, for whom home is everything, even if not everything as it seems of should be.” Helen Kubiw Can Lit for Little Canadians September 14, 2016
“This novel, which deftly spans the six-year period of the war, shows how ordinary people, good people – including the people who never made that choice originally – come to follow a bizarre dictator and his perverse ideology.” Lyn Miller Lachman The Pirate Tree, September 22, 2016
“With its basis in history, The Pact is particularly relevant in this period of international instability, especially as it depicts a bloodthirsty dictator seizing power while a nation struggles.” Gary Presley, Forward Review, Winter 2017
* Listed on the 2017 USBBY OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL BOOKS LIST
* Selected for the 2017 ILA YOUNG ADULTS’ READERS CHOICES LIST
* Nominated for 2017 SNOW WILLOW AWARD
* Listed in the CANADIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK CENTRE BEST BOOKS FOR KIDS & TEENS, Spring 2017
*Listed on AMAZON.COM as #1 Release in Teen & Young Adult Discovery & Historical Fiction.
In 1939, Peter Gruber is a young boy with a booming black market business in Hamburg, Germany. Peter’s resourcefulness helps him survive crushing poverty until world events destroy everything he has ever known. Childhood is left far behind, and Peter has to survive a different kind of horror – pledging allegiance in an elite training camp for SS officers in Nazi Germany. Inspired by a true story, The Pact sheds light on indoctrination, propaganda, insidious racism and a child’s basic sense of morality.