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Cuckoo Summer

"A spellbinding wartime adventure with unforgettable characters and a glorious setting"

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

August 2022 Book of the Month

It’s 1940, the beginning of summer, and we’re in the Lake District. Tommy lives with his aunts, helping on their farm, his father is missing in action. The only person who can make him smile is Sally, an evacuee from Tyneside living with sour old Farmer Scarcross who is their nearest neighbour. Sally it is who discovers the German airman, caught by his parachute on a tree but very much alive. Contrary to what Tommy thinks, she decides they must hide him – and Sally, tough, resourceful, sharp as nails, knows how to fight to get her way.

With vicious Scarcross out to track the airman down, backed up by his Home Guard cronies, the decision becomes increasingly dangerous. Scarcross isn’t the only bully amongst their neighbours, and Sally is as much the hunted as the man she’s so determined to protect.

It’s a story that allows readers to jump feet first into adventure. Tommy and Sally are wonderful characters, the latter in particular, and their exploits are steeped in atmosphere.

The depiction of the Cumbrian countryside is superb too, the cuckoo’s call marking time as the months pass and secrets are shared and revealed. The ending is everything readers will want, full of drama, excitement and a sense of rightness. There are echoes of that great storyteller Robert Westall, of Machine Gunners fame, but the story brings Goodnight Mister Tom to mind too – high praise, and thoroughly deserved.

Andrea Reece

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