Home Again: Stories about Coming Home from War

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Contributing authors: Bali Rai, Jim Eldridge, Leila Rasheed, E.L. Norry, Emily Hibbs & Tony Bradman.

Published by Scholastic, 2020. Produced in partnership with the Royal British Legion.

Home Again is a collection of short stories centred around VE Day, each with the theme of homecoming. In addition to the 12 stories, the book contains period photographs, wartime posters, and fact files about different aspects of the war. The book has been published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day. 50p from the sale of every book will be donated to the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

I think what really marks this book out is the diverse mix of voices. There are stories from male and female perspectives, experiences shared by children and adults, and voices which originate beyond the UK. For example, we have stories told by a child evacuee, an Air Raid Warden, an Indian Army soldier, and a Land Army girl.

The stories are authentic and carefully researched and help to give context to this period in history. We learn about the hardships of rationing, the devastation of air raids, and the horror of the Holocaust. The pain of being a child separated from their parents is made all too real – not just the British children evacuated to the countryside from the city, but also the Jewish children rescued from the threat of the Nazis and sent to the UK via the Kindertransport operation. There are stories of resistance, of the Bletchley Park codebreakers, and of the women’s land army and the Auxiliary Territorial Service which highlight the changing roles for women during the war.

This is an incredibly compelling and insightful book and would be a very valuable addition to any upper Key Stage 2 classroom.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 8+

Thank you to Scholastic for sending me this book to review.

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