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Arctic Star

Written by Tom Palmer

Illustrated by Tom Clohosy Cole

Part of the Conkers Series

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Arctic Star Review

Adventure Stories Books of the Month Dyslexia Friendly Books for Interest age 7+ Dyslexia Friendly Books for Interest age 9+ Featured Books for 7+ readers Historical Fiction Star Books

A story of the Arctic Convoys of the Second World War told with typical drama and insight by the always excellent Tom Palmer

Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | May 2021 Book of the Month

It wasn’t until 2013 that the men who served on the Arctic Convoys in the Second World War were properly honoured for their bravery. But anyone reading Tom Palmer’s typically vivid and powerful short novel will understand exactly what they went through, and what kept them going. Arctic Star features three young friends, Royal Navy recruits, and follows them on the perilous journeys they make escorting merchant vessels across the Arctic as they deliver supplies to the Russians. The sea is wild and treacherous, icy cold, and of course, they are hunted through the waters by German battleships, planes and submarines. Palmer packs not just a huge story, but a huge amount of information and atmosphere into this short book, and in Frank, Joseph and Stephen, he creates three young men readers won’t forget in a hurry. The climax of the story is the deadly battle between HMS Belfast and the Scharnhorst, and it will leave readers exhausted, but full of compassion and sympathy for all the men caught up in this terrifying field of war.  Historical fiction doesn’t get much better than this.

Andrea Reece

Other Info

Following on from the phenomenal success of Tom’s other World War fiction, Armistice Runner and D-Day Dog, this is a powerful read that masterfully combines fiction with historical fact in a thrilling naval adventure inspired by the incredible history of the Second World War Arctic convoys. 

A Note from Tom Palmer : “Having written books about the Army and RAF, I was keen to write a naval novel. I’ve collaborated with the Imperial War Museum for a few years now and by accessing their amazing resources I have done my best to tell the story of the Arctic convoys. I have listened to hours of interviews with sailors, watched films and studied photographs and art from the convoys, as well as visiting HMS Belfast on which the book is set. I have never researched anything more terrifying that servicemen and women have been involved in – and I’ve researched a lot. Anyone who earned the Arctic Star medal has my absolute respect.” 

A Piece of Passion from Ailsa Bathgate, Editor : "Tom brings to life the harrowing and often terrifying experiences of the Allied sailors through the story of three childhood friends serving together on one of the convoys. In this action-packed but incredibly moving novel, we can feel all too clearly the dread of U-boat attacks from below and Stuka bombers from the sky, and we can begin to appreciate how horrendous the conditions were that they had to endure in the Arctic seas in winter. It is a gripping story of adventure, peril and devastating loss that will have readers on the edge of their seats.” 


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Arctic Star Synopsis

Winter 1943. Teenagers Frank, Joseph and Stephen are Royal Navy recruits on their first mission at sea during the Second World War. Their ship is part of an Arctic Convoy sailing to Russia to deliver supplies to the Soviets.

The convoys have to navigate treacherous waters, sailing through a narrow channel between the Arctic ice pack and German bases on the Norwegian coast. Faced with terrifying enemy attacks from both air and sea, as well as life-threatening cold and storms, will all three boys make it home again?

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781781129715
Publication date: 06/05/2021
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781129715
Publication date: 6th May 2021
Author: Tom Palmer
Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 208 pages
Suitable for: 7+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Historical Fiction
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Reluctant Readers, Star Books
Other Categories: Dyslexia Friendly Books for Interest age 7+, Dyslexia Friendly Books for Interest age 9+

About Tom Palmer

Tom Palmer credits articles about football with getting him into reading as a child. He travels all over the UK for events, performing his immensely popular rugby and football reading games to hundreds of children every week. He is the current Writer-in-Residence for the RAF Museums. Tom is also working with the National Literacy Trust on a very high profile football and reading project during the Euro 2016 football tournament. 

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