Friday, 14 February 2014

Barrington Stoke Review: Tilly’s Promise, Linda Newbery

Being dyslexic, and knowing many dyslexic youngsters, I’m a BIG fan of Barrington Stoke’s books. Barrington Stoke’s are publishers that publish books produced and written especially for challenged readers. I have in the past had conversations with teachers who praise the books for their readability for children and teens with reading challenges, and with people who teach English as a foreign language to adults who say that the YA books are fantastic teaching tools for their students. So Barrington Stoke books are versatile and are enjoyed by many non-challenged readers, for instance my nine year old is obsessed by Tony Bradman’s , Young Merlin Series, and if any further proof were required we need look no further than the Clip Carnegie longlist which features Anthony McGowan’s Brock. We featured Brock as a 3D review last year press here to read. 

In the Future we at Space on The Bookshelf intend on reviewing many more Barrington Stoke titles, and to kick off 2014 we are reviewing Linda Newberys touching World War One tale, Tilly’s Promise.

Tilly’s Promise is set as, Interest Age: Teen and Reading Age: 8

Tilly's Promise has a beautiful designed front cover in the style of the embroidered Postcard of time, to read more about the cover visit Barrington Stoke blog by pressing here.

28 July 2014 will see the centenary of the start of World War One, so Tilly’s Promise is published to coincide with a year that is set to be filled with many books, documentaries and talks of the anniversary. Linda has produced a beautiful, touching and gentle tale which focuses on relationships and the fragile nature of promises which are so easily shattered amongst the tragedies of war. Linda tells the tale of Tilly who trains to be a nurse and her blossoming relationship with her sweetheart Harry who is called to the frontline.

The story is exquisitely set in a rural village showing the new of war spilling into the idyllic life, and the impacts on the community as son’s and Tilly’s Sweetheart Harry head for war. In the frugal word count the setting unfolds, watching Tilly’s feelings for Harry unveil despite distance and constraints of war, and how one simple promise threatens to unravel their evolving love.

Linda’s brother Georgie “…was a big, strong boy, but he’d always been slow to learn.” But George is a gentle sole loving the company of animals, “…he loved to groom and feed Bramble, the fat pony…. He’d have spent all his time at the stable if her could.” When George is called up, Tilly makes Harry promise he’ll look after him.

Tilly’s Promise, is delight, showing the experience of war through a strong independent minded girl, and highlighting the atrocities of war on individuals; the venerable both human and animals, in a way that gentle enough for its audience whilst retaining the emotion and highlighting the questions of humanity and morals.

Tilly’s Promise it a captivating read for both teens and middle grade readers

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