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A powerful and heart-breaking novel about three childhood friends living during the Second World War whose fates are closely intertwined, even when their lives take very different courses
Chosen as our Guest Editor, Francesca Simon's Book of the Month
An extraordinary, powerful, and important book, based on the true story of how Liz Kessler’s father escaped from Nazi-occupied Europe thanks to a British couple his family had met once. But what elevates this book about three friends and their different fates in World War Two is the story of Max, the nice, ordinary boy who gradually becomes seduced into hatred and prejudice. The ringing question, ‘What would I do under these circumstances?’ echoes on every page. ~ Francesca Simon
Three friends. Two sides. One memory. Vienna. 1936.
Three young friends - Leo, Elsa and Max - spend a perfect day together, unaware that around them Europe is descending into a growing darkness, and that events soon mean that they will be cruelly ripped apart from each other. With their lives taking them across Europe - to Germany, England, Prague and Poland - will they ever find their way back to each other? Will they want to?
Inspired by a true story, When the World was Ours is an extraordinary novel that is as powerful as it is heartbreaking, and shows how the bonds of love, family and friendship allow glimmers of hope to flourish, even in the most hopeless of times.
'When The World Was Ours is Liz's masterpiece . . . an instant classic' Anthony McGowan, winner of the 2020 CILIP Carnegie Medal
|Publication date:||21st January 2021|
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 4|
|Topics:||Family / Home Stories, Historical Fiction|
Liz Kessler lives in rural Cheshire. She has worked as a teacher and journalist and has an MA in Creative Writing.More About Liz Kessler