I must have been about 10 years old when I first read North to Freedom, and perhaps 12 years old the 20th time I read it. I am 41 now, and the profound impression this book has left on me has caused me to seek it once again, this time as a gift to my son. What is it about this book that has gripped my imagination for 30 years? There were many facets of this book which were intriguing to me. One of these was the ambiguity of who "they", the bad guys, were. Chalk it up to my young age, but I at times thought the book was an indictment of Nazi Germany, and later thought perhaps it was about life behind the Iron Curtain. The ambiguity told the lesson that evil was evil, regardless the political justification. The book also was attractive as a great adventure. Most preadolescent boys, perhaps, fantasize of having to make it on their own, facing enormous odds, relying on cunning and stealth and courage to protect oneself from the evil "grownups". There was also a romantic interlude in this book, and the prepubescent boy who isn't at least thinking about girls is rare indeed. The interlude climaxed in a brief kiss, which to preadolescent like myself was, at that time, sheer exhiliration. While we boys could not, of course, read a romance novel, an adventure novel such as this was quite acceptable. Then, there was the intensely happy ending, most of which was left to the reader's imagination because it was so abrupt. Young boys still need a happy ending, and this one was spectacularly anticlimactic. I hope my son shares the joy and ponders the triumph over evil so eloquently presented in this book.