The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield’s father promised he wouldn’t go away to fight – but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn’t know where his father might be, other than that he’s away on a special, secret mission.
Then, while shining shoes at King’s Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father’s name – on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realizes his father is in a hospital close by – a hospital treating soldiers with an unusual condition. Alfie is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place.
~ Synopsis from goodreads
This is a very sweet and heartwarming book. Set during World War 1, it is the story of those left behind when the men of England went off to fight in the war.
Alfie and his mother are in a bad situation. His mom is perennially worried about money and shortages and they are always making do, while Alfie worries about and misses his father terribly. After 2 years at war, he stops receiving letters from his father and begins to fear the worst. Until a miracle happens and he starts to hope.
The story as such is a very simple one and written in very simple language. The book is aimed at younger children I think. However, while the language is simple, the concepts are not.
This would be a good book for children who are already familiar with World War 1 and who know about the important events of the war already. They could then read this book to fill in the gaps in their knowledge and get a more holistic picture of the time.
A very good book to choose if you are looking for some quality reading material for your child. I recommend it highly for children grade 7-8 and above.
As an adult also, I found this book enjoyable. There is enough maturity in the subject matter that even adults can enjoy it. And finally, it was a pleasure to read a book about the war era that wasn’t downbeat.
This really is a wonderful little book about the power of love.
Huge thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me this book for review consideration.
You can also purchase a copy of this book from Amazon