By Author / Illustrator
Chicken House Ltd
Paperback / softback
An exciting World War II adventure from acclaimed author Ally Sherrick - blending her trademark rip-roaring historical storytelling with mythology and magic!It's World War II and Britain is on the brink of invasion. Londoner George has been sent to live in the countryside while his brother and guardian, Charlie, trains to be a pilot - but he's very far from safe. An ancient burial ground nearby contains a priceless treasure, a magical Anglo-Saxon crown Hitler is desperate to possess. Alongside Kitty, the granddaughter of a Jewish archaeologist, George must find and protect the crown from the Nazi invaders before it's too late ...
This book is non-stop action and adventure, a cleverly constructed blend of historical drama with a touch of magic thrown in for good measure. It is set during World War II and Londoner George Penny is living as an evacuee in the countryside. Featuring Nazi villains, Kindertransport and Anglo-Saxon mythology, this story takes a breathless pace, full of exciting twists and turns. This is the sort of rip-roaring story I loved to read as a child. The combination of some really villainous baddies and two historical periods make this a 'can't put down' sort of book; certainly, I nearly missed my stop whilst reading it on a train! The story was originally inspired by the author's own father who was an evacuee, as well as Hitler's treasure hunters and the treasure hoard found at Sutton Hoo. I find this sort of combination quite irresistible and I can see this book really appealing to boys as well as girls. The story does not shy away from some more difficult issues, such as death and loss, the Holocaust and ill treatment of children. Despite this, it is never too gory or scary and even the magic becomes believable in this context. In fact, the only bits that I found slightly jarring were where real historical figures from World War II, were introduced. Odd that the real people should be the least believable in what is a most fantastical story! As the Anglo Saxons are part of the History National Curriculum, this book would be great to have in a classroom whilst this topic is being taught. Its publication also coincides with 100th anniversary of the RAF, another strand in the story, and the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport. It would also fit very nicely into a discussion about British values and how History impacts on the present. Best of all, this is a book to be read simply for pleasure, an edge of your seat kind of story, where you simply have to find out what is going to happen next!
Suggested Reading Age 9+