Snow Treasure
By Marie McSwigan
"On June 28, 1940, the Norwegian Freighter Bomma reached Baltimore with a cargo of gold bullion worth $9,000,000." This sentence is the beginning and ending of an amazing true story called Snow Treasure. Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigam, is an exciting tale of how children sneaked gold past Nazi troops in Norway to a disguised freighter in a hidden fjord. This story tells the details of how these children completed this amazing task of taking $9,000,000 worth of gold bullion past Nazis.

The setting is a town called Riswyk, Norway, and it’s the winter of 1940. How do you know? In the beginning the author wrote a passage about the story and when it happened, but as the story progresses, you will learn that there is much more snow than in previous winters. Secondly, it is 1940, which meant World War Two was raging in Europe, and this means the German invasion of Norway. The Nazis are invading, and this means the British Navy is mining the coastline. Lastly, do you wonder what the means of transportation are (probably snowmobiles and cars)? Well, even in the 1940’s not all people had cars and snowmobiles, so you either used skis or a sled. Snow Treasure is set in the winter of 1940 during World War Two in a Norwegian town called Riswyk.

Peter Lundstrom, Michael Berg, and Helga Thomson are three 12-year-old friends that live in Riswyk. Peter represents most of the traits for a leader. Peter has most of the traits of a leader and they are: courage, bravery, the will to help others succeed and the will to never give up. Peter has blonde hair, clear brown eyes and they are in a straight line and wide apart and he is tall and slender. Peter is untroubled and feels grown up, because he was playing with girls. Michael is a typical Scandinavian. He has a square shape, really blonde (almost white) hair, blue eyes. Michael is very different than Peter, since he is of a follower. Lastly, Helga is a dark-eyed girl with black hair, and she is sort of a tomboy. These three will have to carry out a daring plan proposed by Victor Lundstrom. Victor, better known as Uncle Victor, is the head of the Lundstrom Fishing Fleet and Rolls is Victor’s first mate. Rolls his first mate is short and has a stocky figure. They sail on the ship the Cleng Peerson. The ship the Cleng Peerson is named after a Norsemen that is like the American Daniel Boone. The whole ship weighs 50 tons and uses wind power, but it also has an optional 13 horsepower engine. Victor is a daring and adventurous fisherman, and he shares his adventures with Peter. The Cleng Peerson is named by Uncle Victor and Rolls sails with him on his many adventures.
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How do you get $9,000,000 to America from Norway in winter with Nazis invading? Uncle Victor proposes a plan…the children! They could ride their sleds to a cave where the gold is stored, and then the children would take the gold (which are wrapped in brown sacks) and sled to the Snake River and build a snowman on top of the gold. In the middle of the night Victor and Rolls will find the snowmen and take the gold to the Cleng. Once all the gold is on the ship, they will sail to America for safe keeping. This is how you get $9,000,000 past Nazis to America.
I found six conflicts in Snow Treasure: two man vs. man, two man vs. nature, man vs. society and man vs. himself. The first two conflicts are man vs. man, and the first man vs. man conflict is Peter throwing a snowball at the commandant. Peter gets locked up, but how does he get out? Well, a secret character sneaks him out of the Nazi barracks Peter is being held in. The commandant ordered for school to start again, and this leads to a fake disease. Only the doctor makes up a word called “a word with many syllables” so the townspeople couldn’t remember so they pronounced it the plague. The next two conflicts are man vs. nature, and the first one is the hiding of the Cleng Peerson. Uncle Victor had to camouflage it, so he made the mast a tree and this way the Cleng just looked like a bunch of trees. The snow melting was the second man vs. nature conflict. The townspeople couldn’t stop this, but this was a winter with more snow than the children had ever seen, some women that lived in the town took the small children on a sled trip, which helped the gold delivery to the Snake River. The last two conflicts are man vs. society and man vs. himself. The first conflict was that the children and the townspeople had to face that the Nazis were invading, and the townspeople did this by not talking to any of them except when necessary. The last conflict I found was man vs. himself, which involved Peter forgetting where the townspeople hid the gold. Per Garson (the Lundstroms servant) found the children and brought them to the new hiding spot. The people of Riswyk had to deal with six conflicts.
I believe the theme of Snow Treasure is that you should never give up, do what you believe is right, and having bravery and courage to succeed. I believe the definition of to never give up is to persevere in the face of danger. The children fit this by continually sledding, even though they run into the Nazis many times, and when the Nazis tried to talk Peter into being the commandants' personal servant, he didn't reply. Even though Peter was told to say nothing to the Nazis, he clearly would highly dislike this job. The children in Snow Treasure had to do what they believed was right; this is taking the gold to the Snake River, of course. Finally, the children that carried out this plan had to have extreme courage and bravery, and I believe that the definitions of these two words are: You have the ability to face danger and overcome danger by defying all odds against you. The children of Riswyk made their plan possible by never giving up, doing what they believed was right, and having the bravery and courage to succeed.
This story has a few more surprises. You thought I would tell you, ha! If you want to discover this surprise, you'll have to read Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigan, an exciting tale of how children sneak gold past Nazi troops in Norway to a disguised freighter in a hidden fjord.
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About the author
Marie McSwigan was a writer for Pittsburgh papers and worked in publicity. Marie wrote ten children’s books, two adult novels, and several works of nonfiction. She also was a novice painter.

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McSwigan, Marie. Snow Treasure. New York: Scholastic, 1942. Print.
Kirby G.
Mr. Schuster—Language Arts
Edgerton Middle School
Edgerton, WI 53534