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When Fishes Flew

Written by Michael Morpurgo

Illustrated by George Butler

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When Fishes Flew Review

Adventure Stories Books of the Month Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Historical Fiction

No one tells family stories better than Michael Morpurgo!

December 2021 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2021

Against a huge sweep of the history of Greece including the stories of the ancient heroes, the occupation of Greece by the Germans in the Second World War and right up to the present-day of the arrival of Syrian refugees, at heart this is an touching story of Nandi, a teenager living in Australia, and the wonderful bond she has with her Auntie Ellie in Ithaca. Despite the distance between Australia and Greece, Nandi and her very special Auntie Ellie meet frequently. But then Auntie Ellie becomes too frail to travel. Now Nandi must go to Ithaca to find her. It’s a trip she is longing to make and, when she does so, she uncovers the remarkable story of Auntie Ellie’s life. A beautiful and touching story which speaks of love and care. And history.

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Other Info

Author, Michael Morpurgo, says of the book, “I wanted to write a story about the incredible island of Ithaca and about thousands of years of Greek history, legendary and actual. This is the story of Nandi’s adventure, of a journey to the place where myth and reality meet. It’s my version of the Odyssey and a story through Greek history, ancient and modern.”

When Fishes Flew Synopsis

This first new novel in two years from the Nation's Favourite Storyteller is a sweeping story of love and rescue - an unforgettable journey to the Greek island of Ithaca, and back in time to World War Two...

Australian-Greek girl Nandi travels to her ancestors' home in Ithaca, and discovers - through a friendship with an extremely unusual flying fish - the extraordinary story of her great-aunt Elena; of how she fell in love, in the hardest of times, and how of how she became an unsung hero of World War Two. But Elena has gone missing, and Nandi has to find her. In her search, she will discover that Elena was an even greater hero than she thought - and still is... Nandi's story is a beautiful and inspiring tale of personal discovery, of love and place and belonging, threaded through with the quiet heroism of everyday people.

Stunningly illustrated throughout by acclaimed artist George Butler, and full of magic, myth and mystery, it is a classic Morpurgo novel that will move and thrill every reader who loved Private Peaceful and War Horse, and combines all the hallmarks of this beloved Master Storyteller.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008352189
Publication date: 30/09/2021
Publisher: HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008352189
Publication date: 30th September 2021
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator: George Butler
Publisher: HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 192 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Family / Home Stories, Historical Fiction
Recommendations: Books of the Month
Collections: Our Top Children's Christmas Book Recommendations for 2021, Best Children's Books of 2021,

About Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo, began writing stories in the early '70's, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent.  One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003, a post he helped to set up with Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE in 2007 and a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours in 2018 for services to literature and charity. He has written over 150 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, ...

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