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This dramatic and touching play brings Manchester during the Second World War and its people to life, and provides a variety of opportunities for school classes to explore both historical and literacy topics in an involving and creative setting. Also includes helpful tips on staging and costume.
“We are all family,” says Mo, the Indian-born RAF pilot who becomes irrevocably connected to thirteen-year-old Joelle when his plane crashes near her Nazi-occupied French village. “I believe that all of creation is one whole. We are bound together, each of us, by invisible links, and all are equally important.” This uplifting ethos of equality ripples through Mohinder’s War, a story of solidarity and survival against the odds; of friendship and hope through horror and loss. Joelle lived a “charmed life” in pre-war France, her English mother and French father kept busy by their family boulangerie. Following the outbreak of war and Nazi occupation they support the French Resistance. As a result, when Joelle happens upon Mohinder, they keep him safe in their home - but at huge risk, for the Germans know about Mo’s crashed plane and have placed a reward on his capture. Alongside the ever-present menace of discovery, the French Resistance want Mo as a bargaining chip. “The British left us to rot,” they say. “Now, in exchange for their pilot, they must pay too.” Then, when treachery leads to tragedy, Mo comes good on his promise to protect Joelle. Short, and driven by compelling characters, engaging dialogue and an onward-marching pace, this is perfect for reluctant readers who may struggle to keep focus. It’s also excellent for prompting discussions around WWII and broader ethical issues - betrayal, trust and what it is to do the right (and wrong) thing. Importantly, it also shows the vital role played by Indians in Britain’s WWII campaign, and shares information about Mo’s Sikh faith. Stirringly, the story is framed by a contemporary setting, with Joelle revealing this incredible - and hitherto unknown – story at Mo’s funeral.
It is Charlotte's first night at boarding school, and as she's settling down to sleep, she sees the corner of the new building from her window. But when she wakes up, instead of the building there is a huge, dark cedar tree, and the girl in the next bed is not the girl who slept there last night. Somehow, Charlotte has slipped back forty years to 1918 and has swapped places with a girl called Clare. Charlotte and Clare swap places ever night until one day Charlotte becomes trapped in 1918 and must find a way to return to her own time before the end of term.
Shortlisted for the Children's Book Award 2020 | Though the title refers directly to D-Day, and much of the action takes place on or near the D-Day beaches, Tom Palmer skilfully and thoughtfully enables readers to consider war in general, what it means to those involved – soldier and civilian – and even why it still goes on. Jack is excited about his school trip to the D-Day landing beaches. His father is a reservist and the two spend happy hours together re-enacting the Allies’ landing on Jack’s PlayStation. But a number of things come together to change Jack’s view of war, and his trip to France becomes a very different experience to the one he is anticipating at the book’s opening. Palmer introduces some complex ideas and emotions while ensuring that the book is accessible to all readers (in Barrington Stoke’s Conkers series it is written with reluctant and dyslexic readers in mind). His characters are always convincing and Jack’s reactions to the things he learns entirely credible. Compelling, thought-provoking, this is a very fine short novel.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | “There are no stupid questions nor any forbidden ones, but there are some questions that have no answers.” So writes Heidi Fried, an Auschwitz survivor, in this wise, personal and deeply humane reflection on one of human history’s most troubling periods. It is marked out by the respect and empathy she shows in her responses to the questions young people ask her. An important book-her message could well help navigate the challenging time we are living through.
A suspenseful historical YA debut inspired by the true story of an all-female bomber unit in Russia during World War II. World War II has erupted in Valka's homeland of Russia, and Valka is determined to help the effort. She's a pilot-and a good one-so she eagerly joins an all-female bomber regiment. Flying has always meant freedom and exhilaration for Valka, but dropping bombs on German targets is something else entirely. The raids are dangerous, but as Valka watches her fellow pilots putting everything on the line in the face of treachery, she learns the true meaning of bravery. As the war intensifies, though, and those around her fall, Valka must decide how much she is willing to risk to defend the skies she once called home. Inspired by the true story of a famous all-female Russian bomber regiment, Gwen C. Katz weaves a tale of strength and sacrifice, of learning to fight for yourself, and of the perils of a world at war.
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | The horrors of World War One and the huge demands it made on the young men who fought in it are explored in this thought-provoking and moving ghost story. It’s the end of the war but Tony and his mother have no reason to celebrate: Tony’s big brother Charlie was killed in France, shot by his own side as a deserter. His mother is heartbroken, but few of their neighbours are sympathetic and indeed, Tony’s old teacher presents him with a white feather. Tony can’t believe Charlie would run away and when he receives a final coded letter from his brother determines to find out what really happened. Economically told, this is a powerful story that raises issues of courage and responsibility.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2018 | | Based on the true American story from World War One the atmospheric illustrations and simple text of Stubby gives a moving insight into the horrors of the war as seen through the story of the exceptional contribution of a stray dog. When Stubby, a little dog with no home of his own, wanders into an army training camp he quickly becomes a much loved mascot for the young soldiers. Taken overseas to the battlefields, he shows incredible bravery and loyalty, including barking a warning to the soldiers when he can smell the deadly poisonous gas and alerting his soldiers to the presence of enemies. When peace is declared, Stubby is given his very own special coat with medals on it as a reward for his courage. On his return to the US with his soldiers friends Stubby is even taken to the White House to meet the President.
Adapted for a younger readership from the author’s celebrated adult book of the same name, this illustrated history of the Silk Roads, bound in a majestic gold and blue package, is the perfect present for fledging historians. The book’s journey leads armchair adventurers along thrilling, far-reaching roads, taking in the history of ancient Persia, Constantinople, Rome, Attila the Hun, the emergence of Islam, Viking slavery, Genghis Khan, Columbus - and more - from a holistic perspective. “You might even think of the Silk Roads as the world’s central nervous system, linking all the organs of the body together”, the author suggests in the introduction, and his engaging exploration of the interplay between politics, science, religion and trade certainly gives this book far greater tang than your standard textbook. Indeed, generously spiced with exquisite illustrations and maps that inform as they enthrall, young history buffs will undoubtedly devour this pitch-perfect treasure, and grown-ups will get much from it too.
A new illustrated story celebrating the poppy's history. Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman have teamed up with the Royal British Legion to tell an original story that explains the meaning behind the poppy.In Flanders' fields, young Martens knows his family's story, for it is as precious as the faded poem hanging in their home. From a poor girl comforting a grieving soldier, to an unexpected meeting of strangers, to a father's tragic death many decades after treaties were signed, war has shaped Martens's family in profound ways - it is their history as much as any nation's. They remember. They grieve. They honour the past. This book also includes a full-colour, illustrated afterword that explains the history that inspired the story.
Francis and Pieter are brothers. As shadow of one war lingers, and the rumbles of another approach, the brothers argue. Francis is a fierce pacifist, while Pieter signs up to fight. What happens next will change the course of Francis's life forever . . . and throw him into the mouth of the wolf.
‘I was awarded the Burma Star and the Yankee Star for my service, but all I really want is for the people who fought alongside me to be remembered.’ So said Ivor Roberts Phillips, one of hundreds of men and women interviewed here about their personal experiences of World War Two. It is more important than ever that we remember, and that children growing up now understand something of what they went through. There are lots of interviews not just with soldiers but with airmen, land girls, members of the Desert Rats and the SOE, and civilians, including those who as children lived through the bombing, in the UK, Germany or Japan. They tell stories of resilience, grief and unexpected happiness, speaking candidly to their interviewers, many of whom are children, and it’s impossible not to be moved and humbled by them. ~ Andrea Reece A note from Tatti de Jersey, Walker Books There are over 80 witness accounts and interviews in the book mostly done by children. The children have spoken with grandparents or neighbours who were prisoners of war in Japan, lived through the Blitz in London, Portsmouth or Manchester, fled the war zones as refugees on the Kindertransport, one who worked with Winston Churchill at the War Rooms and Eve Branson who was a wren. How important is it for our children, our future generation to learn about living and working through WW2 and the aftermath of war? The children learnt what it was like to live during WW2, living on rations (Martha Vine, daughter of Jeremy learnt about boiling up onions which were delicious!) or being the bomb aimer on the dambuster raid, Johnny Johnson the last surviving dambuster was interviewed by his grand daughter! They were awestruck by the stories and how their grandparents relived their experiences. Moving narratives include Lady Zhava Hohn recalling her experience in a concentration camp, the last surviving dambuster, Johnny Johnson telling his great grand-daughter about his time as a bomb aimer, Joy Hunter relating her work alongside Winston Churchill at the War Cabinet to her great grand-daughter, RAF Gunner Harry Irons recounting his first bombing raid on Germany, Anita Lasker-Wallfish explaining how playing the cello in the orchestra at Auschwitz saved her life, Dutch Kirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay on navigating and dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Takashi Tanemori who was playing hide and seek at school in Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 describing what happened after the atomic bomb fell in his city. Other voices include narratives from Judith Kerr, Shirley Hughes , Jan Pienkowski, Baroness Trumpington, Eve Branson, Esther Ranzen and the last interview with Sir Nicholas Winton on why he set up the Kindertransport programme in Czechoslovakia in 1936.