Monday, June 15, 2020

Book Tour/Giveaway - Hunger Winter by Rob Currie

Hunger Winter by Rob Currie


GENRE: MG Historical Fiction



It's the Netherlands in late 1944. Thirteen-year-old Dirk's Papa left to fight with the Resistance. Then Mama died. When the Gestapo snatched his older sister and he learned they were coming for him next, Dirk left home in the middle of the night. He had his pockets stuffed with food, his little sister asleep in his arms, and his heart heavy with a dark secret.




Dirk Ingelse’s eyes flew open, and he raised his head off the pillow. Who could be knocking on the front door? Gestapo? His insides turned to ice.

The pounding resumed, the sound carrying easily up the stairs into Dirk’s bedroom. It didn’t sound like the rap of knuckles—it was more like the thumping of an angry fist. Or the butt of a rifle.

It had to be the Gestapo. They had been doing more raids lately, and they often came at night. Who else would pummel the front door of the Ingelse’s farmhouse in the middle of the night and risk getting arrested?

Dirk rolled out of bed and crept to his bedroom window. Easing the curtain open a bit, he kept his face away from the window, like Papa had taught him. He couldn’t see a vehicle. But what if they hid their car? Dirk’s right hand shook.

He couldn’t hide. They would tear the place apart to find him. And he couldn’t run—they would have the place surrounded. He’d heard stories. His right hand shook harder. It had been doing that a lot ever since—

The assault on the door resumed, even louder this time. “Open up!” growled a deep voice.

Dirk turned from the window and crept down the stairs.

From The Author:  

Genre of book – MG historical fiction
Author website:
Barnes and Noble:

What is the hook for your novel?
Kids in grades 4-8 are loving Hunger Winter because of its storyline and characters. Thirteen-year-old Dirk’s Papa leaves to fight with the Dutch Resistance. Then Mama dies. When he learns the Gestapo is coming for him next, he flees his home in the middle of the night. He leaves with his pockets stuffed with food, his little sister asleep in his arms, and his heart heavy with a dark secret.

Please share a little bit about your current release. What inspired you to write this book?
Life hoodwinked me. When my seventh-grade son showed me a short story he’d written about World War Two, I suggested that he and I could take turns writing the rest of the story. He enthusiastically agreed so I took the next writing turn. My son soon lost interest, but as I did research, my fascination grew as I discovered the poignant hardship and heroism of the Dutch and realized their stories demanded to be shared. It was a fulfilling yet challenging experience because you do not simply write a novel so much as you wring it out of your soul.
Now that the book has been finished, I’m hearing from many kids and in some cases their parents, how much they are enjoying the book. For example, a fourth grader said, “Out of 10 stars I would give it 11.” A sixth grader said, “Tell him to write another book. I’ve recommended Hunger Winter to my friends.”

 Excerpt from the book
     As the soldiers let them through a gate, Els’s mind raced. She’d been delivered from death, but what lay ahead? Nothing the enemy had in mind could be good. Her legs trembled as rifle butts and curses herded her and the other prisoners into the back of a Gestapo van. Unseen hands slammed the back door and locked it with a metallic clank.
     The captives collapsed on the floor from physical and mental fatigue, but they soon found their voices. One man said that because his family had hidden Jews, soldiers gave them only twenty minutes to gather a few essentials before being taken into captivity. In addition, the Nazis gave their house away to new residents and ordered the man’s children to arrange bouquets of flowers for the newcomers. A murmur of sympathy rippled through the group.
     A woman said the Gestapo had arrested her for naming her pig Hitler. With voices hoarse due to their emaciated condition, the captives howled with glee, and happy tears flowed. When the merriment ended, someone said, “I bet your pig had better manners than Herr Hitler,” and the laughter exploded again.
     “And I bet the pig had a better mustache, too,” Els added. She laughed so hard her sides hurt.
     Minutes later the van stopped and the door swung open.
     “Where are we?” a woman asked as she peered at a large building.
     “Nowhere we want to be,” Els answered. She lowered her voice. “Stay strong. And don’t tell them anything.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am doing research for a sequel. Possibilities include how the Dutch Resistance fought against the Germans’ super weapon which was the V2 rocket. It weighed 14 tons and travelled at over three times the speed of sound so you couldn’t see it in time to shoot it down. Many of these super weapons were launched from the Netherlands, where my story takes place. 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
God bless Miss Ballard, our high school English teacher, who taught us creative writing. After I completed a few of her creative writing assignments, I was hooked. She knew her stuff and was very encouraging.

If you don’t write full-time, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I teach psychology at Judson University so most of my writing time comes in the summer when my life drastically changes.  I don my “writing super hero” costume—shorts and a t-shirt, before biking forty minutes to the office to get my heart rate up and pump oxygen to my brain. Then I immerse myself in the story, researching, writing, and rewriting. Someone once said the soul of writing is rewriting. That is the bare truth. It’s the hardest and most satisfying aspect of the work to struggle, strain, and know you finally nailed it. 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I drink one hundred ounces of water per day because water significantly clarifies the thinking. If you google it, you will find that drinking enough water boosts concentration.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was the oddball kid in my class who never knew what career he wanted. All my friends in elementary school knew, or thought they knew, that they wanted to be police officers or teachers or whatever. 

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Hunger Winter is grabbing and holding readers’ interest. Thirteen-year-old Tom read Hunger Winter and a month later when he was assigned to pick another novel, he told his dad “I want another book like Rob Currie’s.” Eleven-year-old Paige read it and said, “I never thought I’d be interested in WWII but now I really am.” Fifty-nine-year old  Bob read Hunger Winter and said it’s the first book he has read all the way through since he graduated from college.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Life conspired to get Rob Currie to write Hunger Winter: A World War II Novel. His father is a World War II veteran and his wife is Dutch. An award-winning author, it was only a matter of time before he would focus his writing on World War II. Research for Hunger Winter included numerous books, interviews with Dutch WWII survivors, and three weeks in the Netherlands. His investigation revealed astonishing details about the Dutch experience of the war, which begged to be turned into a book.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, he graduated from Cornerstone University and went on to earn a master's degree and doctorate in psychology from St. Louis University. He has taught psychology at Judson University since 1987. His hobbies include playing basketball, cooking, and writing poetry.

Author Web Site:
Buy the book:



Rob Currie will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I am worried for Dirk. Must read.

    1. Hello Mary. Readers tell me the book is a page turner. One woman said she kept staying up reading later than she should because she wanted to know what would happen. Happy reading.

  2. Sounds like a book i would really enjoy reading love the cover too.

    1. That is so kind, Laurie. A guy in his late 50's read the book. He said it's the first book he's read all the way through since he finished college. Rob Currie

  3. I look forward to reading the novel. This sounds like another great edition to MG WWII/Holocaust literature. Best wishes to the author on the book's release.

  4. Thank you, Debra. It was endorsed by The Corrie ten Boom Foundation, who operates a WWII museum in the Netherlands, where my story is situated. They said, "I would love to encourage everyone to read this book."

  5. Good to hear from you, Rita. Marsha Skrypuch is a very successful historical fiction author and here's her endorsement of Hunger Winter, "A well-researched novel on a topic that has rarely been explored in books for young people." Rob Currie

  6. Replies
    1. Hello Caryl,
      A woman told me she was staying up late reading it she "had to know what happens next." A single mom is bonding with her son, reading the book. Have a blessed evening. Rob Currie