BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Evie's War (available here)
Author: Holly Webb
Publication Date: October 2018
Most Suitable for: Y4/5
Reviewed By: Christine Wall, Year 6 Teacher/Writing & Science Lead
In the small town of Whitby, everybody is preparing to do their part to support the war, including schoolgirl Evie and her little sister Kitty. Following the death of their younger brother, the two young girls find themselves thrust into school life, just as the war takes hold. Based on the real-life bombing of Whitby in 1914, this story is full of loss, love and hope.
As a primary school teacher, the first aspect of a book I always look for is how this could be used alongside the National Curriculum. It clearly links to World War One and could be used as a class text alongside this topic. Unlike many other World War One based children’s books, this story is not full of ‘edge of your seat’ action, but instead has a much more believable narrative and is more representative of what most children probably experienced. However, it is important to understand that this may not appeal to some of your readers and there are aspects that may be frightening.
Loss is a theme that is explored throughout the book and it has the potential to be upsetting for some particularly sensitive readers. However it is clear that the author has thought carefully about how to tackle this. In particular, I admired how as a reader, we see how Evie deals with the different emotions one might experience during the grieving process, including guilt.
When using this as a class text, I think it is important to note that each chapter is quite long, so it is worth reading this yourself and finding places to stop within each chapter if needed.
Curriculum links: History - WW1
Sensitive topics/scenes to note: Loss of a sibling, war, experience of a séance
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Christine Wall for reviewing the book.