Reader Reviewed That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson

That Burning Summer

Written by Lydia Syson

13+ readers   Books of the Month   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2013 & October 2013 Book of the Month Set in the Second World War this is a moving and evocative story set in the hot summer of 1940. Having been moved out of London to live with relatives in the country, Peggy and Ernest are keen to do their bit for the war effort – especially because they have their own fights with the local children on account of their father’s pacifism. Ernest has read all the instructions about what to do if the enemy lands and Peggy, too, knows exactly what she should do. But, when Peggy finds a young Polish pilot, wounded after his plan has been shot down, she is torn between following instructions and following her instincts.


reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for That Burning Summer a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I absolutely adored this book...the combination of historical accuracy and romance made an amazing coming of age novel!'

Scroll down to read more reviews...


That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson

Romney Marsh, July 1940. When invasion threatens, you have to grow up quickly. Sixteen-year-old Peggy has been putting on a brave face since the fall of France, but now the enemy is overhead, and the rules are changing all the time. Staying on the right side of the law proves harder than she expects when a plane crash-lands in the Marsh: it's Peggy who finds its pathetic, broken pilot; a young Polish man, Henryk, who stays hidden in a remote church, secretly cared for by Peggy. As something more blossoms between the two, Peggy's brother Ernest's curiosity peaks and other secrets come to light, forcing Peggy and Henryk to question all the loyalties and beliefs they thought they held dear.

Lydia Syson's debut novel A World Between Us, a romantic thriller set in the Spanish Civil War, was Highly Commended for the prestigous Branford Boase Award 2013. It was also longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. To find out more, and read an extract of this superb novel, click here. And download a Reading Guide through the tab on the right hand column.


A small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review That Burning Summer. Read their reviews below.

Daisy Pennock, age 16 - 'This book was really great- I loved both the storyline and the historical part of it.' Click Here to read the full review.

Juliana Christianson, age 14 - 'I absolutely adored this book...the combination of historical accuracy and romance made an amazing coming of age novel!' Click Here to read the full review.

Safiyah Afghan. age 15 - 'That Burning Summer, is a passionate, emotional and brave tale that will leave readers emotional. With intricate characters and a deep plot this book is perfect for all readers, especially lovers of romance and history.' 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.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


336 pages
Interest Age: From 16


Lydia Syson
More books by Lydia Syson

Author's Website


Hot Key Books

Publication date

3rd October 2013




Readers Guide


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.

Publisher's Website

Publisher's Blog

At @HHSHaringey we love @lovereading4kids because our pupils can practice reviewing & get free upcoming books before anyone else!

Helen Swinyard – Heartlands High

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

Lovereading4kids is great, we get books really early never late. We love to read and review, and think you would like it too. The excitement

Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

It is fantastic, you get to read lots of books and you always find something new and amazing in them.

Erica Motoc, age 7

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

Lovereading 4 schools