Whistling in the Dark
Written by Shirley Hughes
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The Lovereading4Kids comment
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, June 2015 Best-selling Shirley Hughes brings alive how it felt to be growing up in Liverpool during the Second World War. In a gripping and touching story which draws on her own memories of growing up at that time, Shirley Hughes sets a vivid scene of blackouts, rationing – especially of nylons which was a great hardship for the girls and all against the permanently lurking dread that something terrible is about to happen. But she also brings alive her much life was the same in terms of friendships and adventures as Joan and her best friend Doreen enjoy going to school, seeing off the class bully and going to the cinema. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for June 2015
It's a Groovy World, Alfredo by Sean Taylor
The Little Bookshop and the Origami Army by Michael Foreman
Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes
The King's Shadow by Philip Womack
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Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes
Liverpool, 1940: thirteen-year-old Joan's home is under threat from the Nazi's terrifying nightly air-raids. It is not an easy time to be a teenager, especially with the sweet rationing, strict curfews and blackouts. Joan and best friend Doreen love going to the cinema until the bombings intensify and then even that becomes too dangerous, especially when an army deserter is found lurking near their home. Who is he and why does he think Joan can help him? As the Blitz worsens, Joan and her friends make a discovery that will tear the whole community apart...
! -- Catherine Purcell Reading Zone Hughes brings the period to life as she weaves an entertaining and touching story around the small, every day preoccupations and the all-pervasive fears of the war. The Guardian In a story packed with mystery, danger, family and friendship, Hughes also pays tribute to the resilience of those left to keep Britain afloat on the home front and the men of the Merchant Navy who risked their lives to bring food and vital supplies across the icy U-boat infested Atlantic and saved the nation from starvation and defeat. Lancashire Evening Post The book has an old-fashioned feel, but this does not detract in any way from its charm and warmth. Shirley Hughes has drawn on her own memories of a wartime childhood, and this gives the story a satisfying depth. The realities of war are dealt with sensitively. There is no overt horror, but Hughes does not sugar-coat what happened in Liverpool in the early years of the war. For those who thought the Blitz only took place in London, this is a sobering reminder that this was not the case [...] Highly recommended. -- Pat Walsh Historical Novel Society August Review Hughes brings alive the atmosphere of the time; what it felt like for a 13-year-old and her family to experience Luffwaffe bombings, and food and clothes shortages [...] An interesting and emotional adventure into the past. Inis Reading Guide This is a gentle and innocent insight into the home front during WWII, particularly suitable for older KS2 and younger KS3 readers. The effects of the war on day-to-day life are well-documented without you feeling like you are reading a history book, and there are also some interesting moral questions young readers might enjoy probing such as using the black market. The School Librarian This is a wonderfully authentic portrayal of life during the Second World War. Beautifully illustrated, Shirley Hughes paints a thoroughly believable portrait of family life in the 1940s. Family, friendship and trust are all examined, as well as sadness, trauma and loss. Highly recommended. Carousel
About the Author
Interest Age: From 9
More books by Shirley Hughes
Walker Books Ltd
4th June 2015
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