Novelist Marie Sontag Unveils Her Ambitious New WW2 Rising Hope Series of Young Adult Historical Fiction Novels

WordCrafts Press and educator/author Marie Sontag, PhD are excited to announce the release of Underground Scouts, the first volume in Sontag’s thrilling new historical adventure series, The WW2 Rising Hope SeriesUnderground Scouts released to retail on January 28, 2023, and immediately rocketed up category charts to claim the title of Number 1 Hot New Release in the Teen & Young Adult Military Historical Fiction category.

“My husband and I visited Poland in 2008 to spend time with a young man we had taken in 12 years earlier as part of a year-long student foreign exchange student program,” Sontag explained of her impetus for writing the novel.

“He gave us a tour of Warsaw’s Rising Museum. I had never heard about Warsaw’s Rising, and how the Polish Boy Scouts and Girl Guides played a huge role in this effort to rout the Germans from Warsaw. These teen Scouts wanted to show the Allies they were prepared to fight for their democratic freedoms. They didn’t want to be given over to the Communists once Germany was defeated. For political reasons, the Allies allowed the Russians to establish their cronies and turn Poland’s Christian-based society into a godless Communist one.

“I was struck with the passion of these young scouts who gave their lives for their country. I wanted the students I taught in the states to know about these unsung heroes so they would have role models to help stand up for our country today.”

From the Novel

Warsaw, Poland
September 8, 1939

Their scoutmaster’s chair squeaked as he shifted his weight. “What I am about to ask from all of you is a personal sacrifice on behalf of Poland. Your final decision is, of course, up to you. You must each make your own decision.”

A hush filled the room. The Scouts’ pale faces betrayed the struggle that plagued them all.

Tadzio broke the spell. “I mean no disrespect, Professor. I don’t know why my father had to leave, but since he’s gone, my family is my priority.”

Squaring her shoulders, Magdalena inched forward on her chair. “And earlier this week my father’s brother and his wife were killed when a bomb hit their apartment building in Warsaw.” Her voice quivered. “Now, we’re also caring for our orphaned 11-year-old cousin, Józefina.”

Tadzio nodded. “Since I am the eldest son, my first responsibility is to my family.”

“Well spoken, son.” Professor Handelsman studied Tadzio over the top of his glasses. “What about the rest of you?”

Tadzio’s patrol leader, Andrzej, spoke first. “This is what we’ve prepared for all summer. The Scout training we received in the Kampinos Forest these past few months-first aid, food storage, water purification, map reading skills, Morse Code, riflery-it all prepared us for this moment. I will give my all for Poland.”

Lech smoothed back his thick, black hair. “Andrzej’s right. It’s time to take a stand.”

First Lech, then Andrzej, and finally Lech’s younger brother, Stefan, rose to their feet with raised chins, they punched their fists into the air and shouted in unison.

“Czuwaj! Be vigilant! Stay awake! Be prepared!

Dr. Sontag is currently researching the Cold War in Europe, especially Poland, in preparation for writing book two of The Rising Hope Series.

“Several scouts from the first novel will appear in book two,” she hints, “which is tentatively titled Spy Scouts, a Post-WWII Novel.

About the Author

Marie Sontag enjoys transporting middle grade and young adult readers to various time periods and locations by creating stories that bring the past to life. Her 15 years of teaching middle school and high school have given her insight into what students find entertaining, and her B.A. in social science and M.A. and Ph.D. in education provide her with a solid background for writing historical fiction.

Born in Wisconsin, she spent most of her life in California, but now lives with her husband in Texas. When not writing, she’s often found playing princesses with her granddaughter, or super heroes with her grandson.

Connect with Marie online at