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No Man's Land

Written by Joanna Nadin

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No Man's Land Review

Adventure Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Science Fiction Star Books Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE)

A timely, moving novel about the true nature of heroism set in intolerant, racist, dystopian Britain

Perfectly-pitched for its intended age group, Joanna Nadin’s No Man’s Land is a mightily thought-provoking, utterly gripping, and empathy-inspiring story of a ten-year-old boy’s bravery in the face of the terrifying changes that come in the wake of an impending war in far-right Albion, a dystopian imagining of post-Brexit Britain.


It started “when the Albioneers won the election. Maybe before, even - before I was born. When England decided it didn’t like Europe any more.” That’s how endearing Al surmises the situation as things worsen in Albion - his non-British, non-white friends are being compelled to leave this intolerant, racist land, and war is on the horizon. As a result, Al and his little brother Sam are sent to safety by their dad, to Kernow in the country, where a community of mainly women eke out survival. While Sam believes this is all part of a game, Al is angry at being sent away, and desperate to be reunited with his dad by his imminent birthday. But time sweeps by, and war is certain.


There are valuable lessons to be learned from Al’s realisation that the women of Kernow are, in fact, the true heroines of the piece - “there were different ways to resist… I saw them then. The women in the kitchen, whispering, drinking, planning. Not bad things. But not nothing either. Providing a life for anyone who needed it.” In Al’s words, “not all heroes wear capes. And not all heroes carry guns.” Powerfully prescient stuff, with wonderfully-drawn characters.

Joanne Owen

No Man's Land Synopsis

'I could feel it coming. War, I mean. Creeping up on us, into our town, down our street, into our house. Smiling like a friend, like it was Batman come to save us when really it was the Joker all along.'

With far-right Albion on the brink of war with Europe, ten-year-old Alan and his little brother Sam are sent away to safety. Dad tells Alan he has to be brave, like the superheroes he loves, but Alan isn't too sure. He wants to be wherever Dad is, and, anyway - can he really be sure who's a hero and who's a villain?

A heartwarming, heartbreaking story of acceptance, love and bravery in all its different forms, from the acclaimed author of Joe All Alone.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781912979615
Publication date: 02/09/2021
Publisher: UCLan Publishing
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781912979615
Publication date: 2nd September 2021
Author: Joanna Nadin
Publisher: UCLan Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 288 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Science Fiction, Personal Social Health Economic
Recommendations: Star Books
Collections: Best Children's Books of 2021,

About Joanna Nadin

Joanna Nadin is a winner of the Fantastic Book Award, the Surrey Book Award, Blue Peter 'Book of the Month' and Radio 4 Open Book 'Book of the Year'. She has been shortlisted for the Booktrust Best Book Award and Queen of Teen, and Spies,  Dad,  Big Lauren and Me was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. In 2011, Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Joe All Alone was nominated for the 2016 C ILIP C arnegie Medal. She writes the Flying Fergus series with Sir Chris Hoy. Joanna previously ...

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