The Racers: How an Outcast Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Challenged Hitler's Best (Scholastic Focus) | Scholastic Canada

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The Racers: How an Outcast Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Challenged Hitler's Best (Scholastic Focus)

By Neal Bascomb   

Scholastic Inc. | ISBN 9781338277418 Hardcover
336 Pages | 5.806" x 8.535" | Ages 12 & Up

Scholastic Inc. | ISBN 9781338277425 Ebook
336 Pages | Ages 12 & Up

The heart-pounding story of an unlikely band of ragtags who took on Hitler's Grand Prix driver.

In the years before World War II, Adolf Hitler wanted to prove the greatness of the Third Reich in everything from track and field to motorsports. The Nazis poured money into the development of new race cars, and Mercedes-Benz came out with a stable of supercharged automobiles called Silver Arrows. Their drivers dominated the sensational world of European Grand Prix racing and saluted Hitler on their many returns home with victory. As the Third Reich stripped Jews of their rights and began their march toward war, one driver, René Dreyfus, a 32-year-old Frenchman of Jewish heritage who had enjoyed some early successes on the racing circuit, was barred from driving on any German or Italian race teams, which fielded the best in class, due to the rise of Hitler and Benito Mussolini. So it was that in 1937, Lucy Schell, an American heiress and top Monte Carlo Rally driver, needed a racer for a new team she was creating to take on Germany's Silver Arrows. Sensing untapped potential in Dreyfus, she funded the development of a nimble tiger of a new car built by a little-known French manufacturer called Delahaye. As the nations of Europe marched ever closer to war, Schell and Dreyfus faced down Hitler's top drivers, and the world held its breath in anticipation, waiting to see who would triumph.

Raves & reviews:

Praise for The Grand Escape:

* "Bascomb does an extraordinary job of bringing the principal escapees to life. . . . His account of the Herculean task of digging the tunnel is fascinating, viscerally evoking the claustrophobic act. He also invests his account with page-turning suspense and colorful detail. The narrative is enhanced by the inclusion of generous period photographs and contemporary maps and charts. Altogether the book is a marvel of research and an example of narrative nonfiction at its finest. It's a grand adventure." — Booklist, starred review

* "Suspenseful reading, enhanced by diagrams and photographs. A fine escapade related with proper drama and likely to be news even to well-read young historians." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "It is a tale of triumph that became a template for future prisoners of war, and Bascomb's heavy, well-cited research provides the information readers need. . . . A fantastic pick for avid history readers." — School Library Journal, starred review