I’m sure this will be the first of many books about the First World War which I will read over the next two years [written in 2013], and what a one to start with. Written by John Boyne, probably best known for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, this is a touching story of a boy’s determination to help his soldier father. Destined to become a children’s classic, it is a tough tale with a tender touch. Boyne doesn’t shy away from the difficult subjects of enemy aliens, conscientious objectors, loss, injury, death and fear. On July 28th 1914, war is declared. It is also Alfie Summerfield’s fifth birthday. His biggest wish is to go one morning with his father Georgie on the milk cart with his horse Mr Asquith. Life changes for Alfie and his mother without Georgie. As the years pass, Alfie stops believing the grown-ups who say the war ‘will be over by Christmas’. Then his father’s letters stop arriving. Alfie’s mother says Georgie is ‘on a special mission and cannot write’ but Alfie doesn’t believe her. He doesn’t like being treated as a child, so he decides to do something about it.
This is a story about belief, empowerment, and the strength of children in adversity.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK
Read my reviews of these other novels by John Boyne:-
A HISTORY OF LONELINESS
A LADDER TO THE SKY
A TRAVELLER AT THE GATES OF WISDOM
ALL THE BROKEN PLACES
THE HEART’S INVISIBLE FURIES
If you like this, try these other novels set in Ireland:-
‘Himself’ by Jess Kidd
‘Ghost Moth’ by Michele Forbes
‘Nora Webster’ by Colm Tóibín
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
STAY WHERE YOU ARE AND THEN LEAVE by @john_boyne #bookreview by @SandraDanby https://wp.me/p2ZHJe-4bh
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Yes, very moving film. SD
I saw the movie but never read the book.