Whistling in the Dark Synopsis
In the hardship of war, everything is rationed - except true friendship. From much-loved author Shirley Hughes comes a compelling wartime adventure set during the Liverpool Blitz. Liverpool, 1940: thirteen-year-old Joan's home is under threat from the Nazi's terrifying nightly air-raids. It is not an easy time to be a teenager, especially with the sweet rationing, strict curfews and blackouts. Joan and best friend Doreen love going to the cinema until the bombings intensify and then even that becomes too dangerous, especially when an army deserter is found lurking near their home. Who is he and why does he think Joan can help him? As the Blitz worsens, Joan and her friends make a discovery that will tear the whole community apart...
Whistling in the Dark Press Reviews
Her second wartime novel, set in the strict curfews and blackouts of the Liverpool Blitz. Hero on a Bicycle was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award. Fiona Noble The Bookseller -- Fiona Noble * The Bookseller * This may be another World War II story, but is well-written and well worth reading. -- The Bookseller * The Bookseller * I agree wholeheartedly with all of the quotes and commendations on the book jacket, this IS a wonderful book from 'one of our greatest writers and illustrators'. Shirley Hughes 'handles emotion without sentimentality' and I defy you not to enjoy it! -- Catherine Purcell * Reading Zone * Hughes brings the period to life as she weaves an entertaining and touching story around the small, every day preoccupations and the all-pervasive fears of the war. * The Guardian * In a story packed with mystery, danger, family and friendship, Hughes also pays tribute to the resilience of those left to keep Britain afloat on the home front and the men of the Merchant Navy who risked their lives to bring food and vital supplies across the icy U-boat infested Atlantic and saved the nation from starvation and defeat. * Lancashire Evening Post * The book has an old-fashioned feel, but this does not detract in any way from its charm and warmth. Shirley Hughes has drawn on her own memories of a wartime childhood, and this gives the story a satisfying depth. The realities of war are dealt with sensitively. There is no overt horror, but Hughes does not sugar-coat what happened in Liverpool in the early years of the war. For those who thought the Blitz only took place in London, this is a sobering reminder that this was not the case [...] Highly recommended. -- Pat Walsh * Historical Novel Society August Review * Hughes brings alive the atmosphere of the time; what it felt like for a 13-year-old and her family to experience Luffwaffe bombings, and food and clothes shortages [...] An interesting and emotional adventure into the past. * Inis Reading Guide * This is a gentle and innocent insight into the home front during WWII, particularly suitable for older KS2 and younger KS3 readers. The effects of the war on day-to-day life are well-documented without you feeling like you are reading a history book, and there are also some interesting moral questions young readers might enjoy probing such as using the black market. * The School Librarian * This is a wonderfully authentic portrayal of life during the Second World War. Beautifully illustrated, Shirley Hughes paints a thoroughly believable portrait of family life in the 1940s. Family, friendship and trust are all examined, as well as sadness, trauma and loss. Highly recommended. * Carousel *