Reader Reviewed A World Between Us by Lydia Syson

A World Between Us

Written by Lydia Syson

13+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   11+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Highly Commended for the Branford Boase Award 2013 and Longlisted for the 2013 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize

Packed full of passion – both political and of all other kinds – this is a harrowing, thrilling and romantic account of the Spanish Civil War and the lives of three young volunteers who sign up to fight in it. In a chance encounter in Cable Street at the time of anti-fascist demonstrations, Felix, training to be a nurse and desperate to break away from her conventional background, meets Nat, already a young communist ready to fight for the cause. They re-meet in Spain, both fighting against the fascists. Following Felix, George, her conventional suitor, also travels to Spain where he too converts to the cause. The courageous decisions the three have to make; their bravery and their love make a strong thread through the fast paced action.

CLICK HERE to download a fact sheet about the inspriation behind the writing of A World Between Us.

The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children - for the seven shortlisted titles please click here.

Lydia Syson and her editor Sarah Odedina were Highly Commended for A World Between Us by the Branford Boase Judges. This is the first time since 2004 that a book has been highlighted in this way, and proof of the strength and depth of the 2013 shortlist.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for A World Between Us a small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'Lydia Syson writes fluently and beautifully. I fell in love with the book and all the characters. I definitely recommend this to all teenage readers.'

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A World Between Us by Lydia Syson

A country is torn apart by civil war as a young woman serving as a nurse is torn apart by her conflicting feelings for two young men. As the battles rage around her, Felix has to make her choices in this passionate historical adventure set in Spain.

The Guardian children's fiction prize was founded in 1967. It is awarded annually to fiction written for children aged eight and above, and is the only children's fiction award selected by fellow writers.

The judging panel will be chaired by our very own reviewer, Julia Eccleshare and the Winner will be announced on Wednesday 16 October.


A small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review A World Between Us. Read their reviews below.

Safiyah Afghan, age 15 - 'an intoxicating book that delves into the heart and mind of a young woman...An excellent plot and deep characters, this book is perfect for all readers especially those who enjoy period books.' Click Here to read the full review.

Susana Sanchez Gonzalez, age 38 - 'A great introduction to the Spanish Civil War by the hand of a volunteer, a nurse and a journalist...thoroughly researched and beautifully written.' Click Here to read the full review.

Pippa Cousins, age 15 - 'Lydia Syson writes fluently and beautifully. I fell in love with the book and all the characters. I definitely recommend this to all teenage readers.' Click Here to read the full review.

Delilah Acworth, age 14 - 'breathtakingly painful, yet perfect at the same time...It was incredibly moving.' Click Here to read the full review.

Josh Hall, age 13 - 'A potentially great book that unfortunately did not deliver for me.' Click Here to read the full review.

About the Author

Lydia Syson

Lydia Syson is a fifth-generation North Londoner who now lives south of the river. She is working through her ambitions in a disorderly fashion. The publication of her first novel, A World Between Us, has taken a good few decades. During this time she went from being a BBC World Service radio listener in Botswana to a producer in London, and then became a non-medical doctor and mother of four.
She also wrote a biography of Britain's first fertility guru, Doctor of Love: James Graham and his Celestial Bed, learning a lot about enlightenment sex in the process.

CLICK HERE to download a Q & A with Lydia Syson.

Getting to Timbuktu is still on the 'to do' list - it's the subject of her PhD thesis - but it will have to be via Romney Marsh, where her next YA novel for Hot Key Books will be set. Bilingualism and Hollywood musical stardom are looking increasingly unlikely.

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Book Info


288 pages
Interest Age: From 16


Lydia Syson
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Hot Key Books

Publication date

4th October 2012




Publisher Profile

Hot Key Books is an imprint of Hot Key

logo Hot Key Books, a division of Bonnier Publishing, publish stand out, quality fiction, for 9 – 19 year olds, print and digital that people like to talk about. If you are looking for something a little bit different from your books, something a little bit special then Hot Key Books may well have just what you want.

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