Friday, November 03, 2017

Whistling in the Dark

Whistling in the Dark. Shirley Hughes. 2015/2017. Candlewick. 240 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Northwest England, autumn 1940.

Premise/plot: Joan Armitage is the heroine of Shirley Hughes' Whistling in the Dark. This one is set in Liverpool during the second world war. The book focuses on the daily experiences of life during the war through the eyes of a thirteen year old. Her father was a merchant marine; WAS. Now her mother is dating someone else, and only the youngest of the family, little Judy, is pleased. The rest of Joan's family (Brian and Audrey) agrees with her: he's trying WAY too hard to be trustworthy. There's drama at school and home.

Some of the drama concerns a Polish refugee, Ania, who joins Joan's class. Joan and her best friend, Doreen, do their best to help her feel welcome and safe. There are some in the class who target her for their bullying.

My thoughts: Whistling in the Dark is very much character-driven. All of the characters are developed. The community feels genuine. The details of daily lives abound. I found it a compelling read. It isn't an action-packed war drama where lives are at stake 24/7. It's much quieter than that. But I think it can be a thought-provoking read.

I admit that at first all I could think of was that somewhere in town, there was a tiny John Lennon.


© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Anonymous,  6:40 PM  

This sounds lovely. I tend to prefer home front war stories rather than the action-packed battle stories.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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