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The Sky Over Rebecca

Written by Matthew Fox

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The Sky Over Rebecca Review

Debuts of the Month Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Historical Fiction

Wonderfully atmospheric and gripping time slip novel

May 2022 Debut of the Month

Set in modern day Stockholm, where this debut author and winner of the Bath Children’s Novel Award currently lives, this enthralling and original novel starts with mysterious footprints in the snow spotted by 10 year old Anna. A solitary only child living with her single parent Mum and very close to her beloved Grandpa, she is determined to follow the trail which leads to a girl, her disabled brother and an island in a frozen lake.

Rebecca and Samuel are Jewish refugees from World War Two, although it takes several meetings for Anna to realise they are from a different time. She is able to take food from her own time to keep them alive until eventually it becomes clear that Rebecca is in an endless time loop trying to ensure Samuel can escape and that Anna must somehow help her to succeed. The stars in the sky above help identify which period they are in and in themselves represent the fluidity of time as explained by Anna’s stargazing Grandpa.

The clever and intricate unveiling of the plot is completely convincing as it interweaves themes of loneliness and bullying in Anna’s life with the genuine peril and trauma of wartime. Every character comes vividly to life in this extraordinary and memorable novel. Highly recommended.

Joy Court

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The Sky Over Rebecca Synopsis

There was a single trail of footprints, the first I'd seen all morning. They were fresh tracks, I saw, the edges of the impressions in the snow quite hard. Small feet. Like mine. Someone my age. Then they stopped.

When mysterious footprints appear in the Stockholm snow, ten-year-old Kara must discover where they've come from - and who they belong to.

They lead Kara to Rebecca, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl, and her younger brother Samuel. Kara realises they are refugees - from another time, World War Two - and are trying to find their way home. The grief and loneliness that Rebecca and Samuel have endured is something Kara can relate to - feeling like you're always on the outside looking in - and she finds herself compelled to help them. Through her eyes, we rediscover the magic that lies in the world around us, if only we have the courage to look for it.

Kara is a heroine for modern times: fragile but fierce, in this utterly compelling story from a stellar new voice in children's literature, Matthew Fox

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781444964707
Publication date: 14/04/2022
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781444964707
Publication date: 14th April 2022
Author: Matthew Fox
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 288 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Historical Fiction
Recommendations: Debuts of the Month

About Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox grew up in Wiltshire and now lives in Stockholm. He studied Philosophy and Politics at Balliol College, University of Oxford and holds a Masters in Screenwriting from the Northern Film School. Matthew's first novel for children, The Sky Over Rebecca, won the Bath Children's Novel Award 2019.

More About Matthew Fox

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