The Children’s Book Award is the only national award voted for solely by children from start to finish. It is highly regarded by parents, teachers, librarians, publishers and children’s authors and illustrators as it truly represents the children’s choice. Thanks to the support of the publishers, around 800 new books are donated to be read and reviewed by our Testing Groups across the country every year, with over 100,000 total votes being cast in the process. At the end of each testing year, around 10,000 books are donated to hospitals, women’s refuges, nurseries and disadvantaged schools by our groups.
Though the title refers directly to D-Day, and much of the action takes place on or near the D-Day beaches, Tom Palmer skilfully and thoughtfully enables readers to consider war in general, what it means to those involved – soldier and civilian – and even why it still goes on. Jack is excited about his school trip to the D-Day landing beaches. His father is a reservist and the two spend happy hours together re-enacting the Allies’ landing on Jack’s PlayStation. But a number of things come together to change Jack’s view of war, and his trip to France becomes a very different experience to the one he is anticipating at the book’s opening. Palmer introduces some complex ideas and emotions while ensuring that the book is accessible to all readers (in Barrington Stoke’s Conkers series it is written with reluctant and dyslexic readers in mind). His characters are always convincing and Jack’s reactions to the things he learns entirely credible. Compelling, thought-provoking, this is a very fine short novel.
- ANDREA REECE (LoveReading4Schools Reviewer)
The Federation is a national voluntary self-funded organisation whose aim is to promote enjoyment and interest in children’s books and reading and to encourage the availability of books for children of all ages, from first picture books to young adults. Our groups around the country, whose members include parents and carers, teachers and librarians, along with our individual and professional members, all want to nurture a love of reading through the sharing of books with children.