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Tilly's Promise

Written by Linda Newbery

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Tilly's Promise Review

Featured Books for 13+ readers General Fiction

One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2014 - Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8+   Award-winning Linda Newbery gives a fresh insight into the First World War in this deeply touching story. Village sweethearts Tilly and Harry are both willing to do what they can to help win the war. Harry joins up to serve in France and Tilly trains as a nurse stationed first near home and later in France. Despite their best intentions each of them finds themselves unable to keep promises made in the course of action. Can they still trust themselves? Can they trust each other? Linda Newbery sensitively charts the wider ripples of the war and its effect.

A Piece of Passion from the Editor, Ruth Williams ‘I loved working on Tilly's Promise. Tilly's such an appealing narrator – sympathetic, yet matter-of-fact and totally lacking in self-pity. Tilly's own experiences as a nurse are moving enough, but particularly distressing are her concerns for her brother Georgie who has learning difficulties – I'd never before thought about what happened to men who were fit enough to fight, but couldn't understand what was going on.’

Tilly’s Promise is the story of a young volunteer nurse.  For more information on nurses and medical care during the War and how the War affected those at home visit There is a wealth of fascinating information plus an introduction to the book from Linda Newbery.


Tilly's Promise Synopsis

Tilly is a young nurse doing her best to help in the war effort. When she hears her brother Georgie must go to the front line in France she is devastated. Georgie isn't like other people - he has learning difficulties and doesn't understand what the war means. Tilly asks her sweetheart Harry to keep Georgie safe. But they soon learn that the nature of war makes any promise hard to keep.

Linda Newbery says: ‘It was one of Siegfried Sassoon's most hard-hitting poems that sparked off Tilly's Promise. Sassoon's simple-minded but happy boy, a powerful symbol of innocence betrayed, became Georgie in my story.  For Tilly's own experiences, I drew on Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth, probably the best-known and most influential female perspective on the First World War.’

Tilly's Promise Reader Reviews

Teens love to read and some of our reader review panel were invited to review this title.   

  • Sophie Bridges, age 11 - 'The reason I like Tilly's Promise by Linda Newbery is because it is very cute how Tilly is very caring for all the people in the ward and cares for them all the same.' Read full review >
  • Belinda Brooke, adult - 'This was a truly lovely read...Although factually accurate and educational in its content, Tilly’s Promise never appears to be concerned with either of those things and so pulls them both off effortlessly.' Read full review >
  • Millie Finbow, age 12 - 'Story of war. Romance story between Harry and Tilly...When I picked the book up I could not put it down. I don’t like reading but this book was a lovely story to get me reading again.' Read full review >
  • Philip Wood, age 12 - 'A touching tale of relationships and emotions during World War I.  A thoroughly enjoyable book.' Read full review >
  • Chloe Pickering, age 10 - 'I thought this book was wonderful and inspiring. A new way of seeing how people reacted to changes the war brought.' Read full review >
  • Rose Heathcote, age 14 - 'I really enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend it to a wide range of readers, particularly those who are studying World War One, as it gives you a insight into the personal experiences of war.' Read full review >
  • Shannon-louise Masters, age 14 -'Tilly's Promise is a great story about war and the ups and downs.' Read full review >

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781781122938
Publication date: 15/01/2014
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781122938
Publication date: 15th January 2014
Author: Linda Newbery
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 104 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers
Genres: General Fiction
Recommendations: Reviewed by Children
Collections: The First World War,

About Linda Newbery

Linda Newbery always wanted to be a writer, filling exercise books with stories which she hid in her wardrobe, but only began submitting her work once she became a secondary school teacher. She had her first novel published in 1988 and is now a full-time writer. Linda writes for various age groups and has twice been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, for The Shell House and Sisterland and in 2006 won the Costa Children’s Book Award for Set in Stone.Linda lives in a Northamptonshire village with her husband and three cats. She is an active member of the SAS ...

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