Emmie let out a huge sob – “It’s not a film set”, she cried. She held onto Jack for a moment, then took a step back, closed her eyes and shouted – “WHERE AM I?”
When Jack and Emmie suddenly find themselves transported back to London in 1940, they find a world both familiar, yet very different. As they dodge falling bombs and over-zealous policemen, they befriend Jan – a lonely Polish refugee. Together, they must work out if the shadowy figure they keep seeing is a spy and unlock the secret of getting home again…
If I could have taken my class back in time when I was teaching history to Key Stage 2 children, how useful it would have been! Jack and Emmie are learning about the Second World War and their teachers expect them to have empathy for the children who were alive in 1940. On the way home from school on a double decker bus driving through east London they spot a mannequin in a shop window with a gas mask. When they leave the bus, everything is slightly different. Stumbling into Bethnal Green Underground station with crowds of others, they believe a film is being made, but the bombs are real and they can’t find their way home to their families.
This is an exciting story which would be great as a class reader or as an adventurous read by fluent readers. Most of the first chapter is unnecessary and could put off some from continuing with the story, but once Jack and Emma meet Jan, a likeable Polish refugee, and start to investigate a mysterious figure they think might be a spy the adventure gains momentum. Will they solve the mystery without being arrested by the police, can they ever get home to present day London?
An authentic picture of events during the Blitz shown through the eyes of young people who explore the city observing the devastation. I enjoyed reading this story and I am sure many middle grade children would find it a worthwhile read.
The Blitz Bus on Amazon UK