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The Winged Watchmen by Hilda Van Stockum

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The Winged Watchmen

The Winged Watchmen by Hilda Van Stockum transports the reader to Holland in the 1940s. World War II is raging; Holland is occupied by German army and life for the Dutch people is very difficult. Fourteen-year-old Dirk Jan Verhagen and his ten-year-old brother, Joris plan and carry out dangerous but successful schemes against the enemy. During this time, their family, like other Dutch families, makes great sacrifices. Amid the turbulence, the Verhagen boys and their family display bravery, cleverness, patriotism, and firm belief in God.

Joris and Dirk Verhagen are very brave and clever in dealing with the daily difficulties of living under the German Occupation. Joris shows his bravery by helping Reina take back her satchel full of dangerous papers. What Joris did was a brave thing because by bringing back these dangerous papers in plain daylight over the public road back to Reina, there might be a chance that the Germans would catch him, and he would be put in a concentration camp. On the other hand, Dirk Jan also shows his bravery when he was approaching the falcon to deliver a secret message to the miller. Once he stood by the gate he noticed there stood a German soldier, but Dirk Jan had not been expecting this. Dirk Jan thought that the miller had been arrested and that he could not send the message. But Dirk Jan resolved at least to try. He thought to himself that he’d have to pretend to be bringing black-market food to the miller. What happened next was shocking; the soldier had pointed a gun at Dirk Jan. But surprisingly he stayed as calm as possible all the way till he finally got to deliver the message. And now we talk about the other subject in this paragraph which is cleverness, both Joris and Dirk Verhagen show cleverness here is one example. Dirk Jan and Joris had they idea to dress Charles as a girl. They thought this idea would be perfect because women wouldn’t be so easily arrested, and the Germans wanted men. Based on the examples above Joris and Dirk Jan use their bravery and cleverness to aid their journey towards freedom.

In addition to the daily survival concerns, Joris and Dirk Jan help in the struggle for their country’s freedom. Dirk Jan shows his patriotism by



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