This is the weekly meme hosted by BookCraic celebrating amazing middle grade books! I hope others will enjoy taking part in this too, it is so much fun!

How to Join In…

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

This week I am celebrating- The Children of Swallow Fell by Julia Green!

Written by Julia Green, Illustration by Helen Crawford-White, Published August 2020 by OUP

Favourite Sentence from Page 11: “There’s a hissing sound, then silence, then her voice again, fainter. ‘Get Dad for me, please. There’s not much time.'”

Three Words to Describe this book: Hope, Resilience, Courage

My Recommendation:

With strong subjects that will resonate with us all in today’s world, this exquisite book is a celebration of young people forging their way in an uncertain world.

In this story, children prove their resilience, understand the precariousness of life and face fears head on. Isabella is walking home from school when the first bombs fall. Her best friend Marta, has headed to the tram station, where the bomb detonated. Running home, Isabella and her father wait for news about older sister Gabriella and Mum. Isabella must come to terms with the sudden loss of normal life.

Escaping to England with just her Dad, Isabella is forced to be a grown up- remembering to eat, light the fire and explore their new surroundings. They have found their way to Dad’s childhood home but much has changed in his absence. The village is abandoned due to an overwhelming illness that took the lives of most, while others moved away.

In the coming days as she explores, Isabella meets Kelda and Rowan, orphans of the illness. They teach her how to snare rabbits, which plants are edible and become friends. When Isabella’s dad goes in search of food, he is away for weeks, not overnight as expected and the three children come together as a make shift family. Circumstances bring them together and hold them there. More children are met, trusted and knowledge shared between them.

Poignant scenes of nature at its best and most beautiful, sharing knowledge and resources and being the “blueprint for the future”. This is what I love most about middle grade novels- the everlasting hope. Hope that the world can change for the better, that people will learn from mistakes of the past and hope we can heal and care for our battered planet.

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Julia Green has written an extraordinary novel featuring young people proving their worth in a weary world. There is much to ponder after reading such beauty.

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