I’m here interrupting your timelines to share some reviews of some kids historical books I’ve read recently.
I don’t read a lot of historical fiction (y’know outside of WW2), so I’m really trying my hardest to get some more into my catalogue! If you have any recommendations, please please let me know!
Gamayun Tales I – Alexander Utkin
“Jam-packed with stories of magical quests and talking animals, golden chests that turn into palaces and encounters with terrifying Water Spirits, there’s no end to the adventure in these books!“
This was sent to me by the publishers and I’ll be honest, it isn’t a book that I would pick up myself, but when I did, I was instantly transported into this incredible world of interwoven stories and characters you want to root for! This is filled with absolutely incredible and gorgeous illustrations. This book tells the story of modern Russian folk tales in such a brilliant way: it’s hard to put down! The stories are so brilliantly woven together. We all know I love a good bit of folk/mythology, so I found this fascinating! It’s really interesting and beautifully done. I would say if you’re a fan of a graphic novel, or of folk/mythology, this is so totally worth a read! Plus… if I’m not mistaken, there’s also a sequel has come out now too (which I need to track down!)
After the War: From Auschwitz to Ambleside – Tom Palmer
“Summer 1945. The Second World War is finally over and Yossi, Ben and Mordecai are among three hundred children who have arrived in the English Lake District. Having survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps, they’ve finally reached a place of safety and peace, where they can hopefully begin to recover. But Yossi is haunted by thoughts of his missing father and disturbed by terrible nightmares. As he waits desperately for news from home, he fears that Mordecai and Ben – the closest thing to family he has left – will move on without him. Will life by the beautiful shores of Lake Windermere be enough to bring hope back into all their lives?”
I am yet to pick up a Tom Palmer and not love it, so I knew this was going to be something special… and let me tell you, it did not disappoint at all! It is absolutely incredible. The friendship between the boys is a thread of love that runs throughout the story. When you pair this with some gentle kindness throughout from the people of the village and you’ve got a story that is 100% a winner. I loved all of the characters – big or small, they added so much to the story. There’s a real feeling of community and belonging in this. There are some scenes in this which are harrowing and thought provoking. I appreciate the care and research that went into this book from Tom Palmer – you can tell that he really wanted to do this story justice, and in my opinion he 100% has. (If you’re not familiar with Tom’s work, please please seek it out. He has written some absolute bangers with Barrington Stoke!)
Mohinder’s War – Bali Rai
“Thirteen-year-old Joelle Breton stumbles across Indian-born RAF pilot Mohinder Singh when his plane crashes in occupied France and it’s up to her and her parents to hide him from the Nazis. After all, her parents are brave members of the French Resistance and will do everything they can to help get Mohinder back to Britain. But when they are betrayed and tragedy strikes, Joelle and Mohinder will have to act fast if they are ever to evade the enemy.”
Another WW2 book (quelle surprise?!) and another absolute winner. We all know that I am a SUCKER for a WW2 story. This crept up on me and totally surprised me with its brilliance. It’s a story of bravery, resilience and humility. How people can do good in the light of such horrors. How people are inherently good. Mohinder is a wonderful character and I loved the talk of Sikhism in this. What a poignant story. I love the way it was set up and told. I don’t think I’d be as brave as Joelle in the face of all of that! I adored the sense of family and doing what’s right in this, especially when all around you people are not doing right.
A Mummy Stole My Homework – Thiago de Moraes
“Being whisked back to 1300 BC certainly wasn’t on Henry’s to-do list. Can he make his way through a new school, odd sports, unexpected friends and deadly pets, Egyptian style? And will he ever find his way back to the present day?”
This book is a whole lot of fun. When Henry finds himself transported to Ancient Egypt, he makes friends, tastes new foods, but mostly learns lots… but will he learn how to get back to modern day? This is GORGEOUSLY illustrated and would be perfect for an Ancient Egypt topic! The pages of this are so brilliantly done that there’s plenty to look at and learn from! I loved Henry and his friends a lot – they all worked together very well! This was a book I raced through and I really hope that there will be more to come – I’d love this to be a series of children going to different times in history!
Right, that’s it for now! I really enjoyed reading these books, but like I say, I need more historical books in my life, so please shout your recommendations at me! I am always happy to take them!
Have you read any of these books?
What is your favourite historical period to read books about?
What are you reading at the minute?
Speak to you all soon!
One thought on “Mini reviews: the historical edition”
I’ve not read any of these but the first one sounds really interesting. I also tend to stick to war related historical stories but I love anything from the time of the Witch Trials and Tudor times too. I don’t know of any MG from those times though.