I love it when you come across a good book and you just can’t put it down! Well this is what happened when I read ‘Rose in the Blitz’ by Rebecca Stevens. I decided to read it over half-term as it is a new book and it is about Blitz-torn London in 1940 and I thought as my Year 6 class are studying WW2 then this would be a perfect book linked to our topic.
This book is all about Rose who still misses her Dad (who sadly passed away a while back) and she is also struggling to come to terms with the fact that her Mum is getting re-married. Rose at the beginning of the book feels rather alone and empty inside as everyone is looking forward to the wedding apart from her.
Rose and her Mum live with their Aunt Cosy. Aunt Cosy is getting older and also a little bit confused – she is 92. Surely everyone gets a bit forgetful at 92, don’t they? Rose also has a dog called Tommy who is clearly devoted and loyal to her and they do everything together. One day Rose and Aunt Cosy go for a walk together but only to discover that they can’t go to their normal café for a cup of tea as it has all been cornered off – an unexploded World War Two bomb has been discovered at the common near the bandstand. This unexploded bomb seems to trigger a memory in her confused, old Great Aunt Cosy. What particular memory is this?
The night before the wedding Rose can’t sleep and so she looks out of her bedroom window only to see her Aunt Cosy wandering out of the house in her dressing gown. Rose is worried about her and so she decides to follow her. Where is she going? Why is she going out late at night?
Aunt Cosy heads for the London Underground and strangely gets onto an empty train. Rose does too and that is when everything changes. When Rose eventually exits the station, she finds herself in Blitz torn London of 1940. Who will she see? Had her Great Aunt sent her here for a reason? Can she change the past in order to find her way back home and to the present day? Rose soon discovers that something awful will happen unless she can find a way to prevent it. Rose not only learns more about her Aunt’s past but she also learns a great deal about herself and that maybe the fact her mum is marrying again is a positive thing and something that she should be celebrating too. Will Rose manage to get back to the present day and get to her Mum’s wedding on time?
I really could write lots more about this book (if you know me well enough you know I like to chat!) but I mustn’t say anymore otherwise I will give far too much away!
This time-slip story really was a gripping read and it is not a huge, long book which is perfect for any Year 6 child! Although it is a short book, so much is packed in – there are some tense and dramatic scenes which makes you want to read on. What I loved about this book is the fact it really does give you a glimpse of what it would have been like to live during the London Blitz and that many people got hurt and killed – these people all had a story, a life, friends, a family and it does really make you realise how awful it must have been to live during the war. So many ordinary and innocent people and families suffered due to the terrible war, however many people had to carry on with their lives, be brave and not give up hope. Many people still continued with their lives not knowing when the next bomb would be dropped and what damage and pain would be caused. It really gives you a good insight into London during the war – from the devastation and the terror of the bombs and air raids to the happy dancing and singing and the special friendships made during a very difficult time.
When reading this book, you really do imagine that you are there with Rose and Tommy (her loyal dog) reliving what it would have been like living in London during 1940. This book is also about love – family love and meeting that one true love! This book will make you smile and cry but the story line is great and as I said earlier it really is a gripping, fast paced read and I would definitely recommend this to any Year 6 child who is enjoying studying WW2. This is a perfect book to give you a little insight into the reality of life during the Blitz in 1940.
Rose in the Blitz really is a lovely story about memories and the fact you can move on with your life after something very sad has happened. This book is also about dealing with grief and that we all have our happy memories that keep us strong. Rose certainly realises in the story that even though memories are important, it is the knowledge of the past that helps her to move forward in her real life. The ending is also lovely and ends the story to a satisfying close.
I also love some of the descriptive writing and imagery used in the book – great for Year 6 to magpie and include in their own writing! I would highly recommend anyone in Year 6 to read this book. I have a couple of copies that I will be loaning out to my class after half-term!
There are many ways that you could use this book e.g. non – fiction fact file about the London Blitz, diary entries written through the eyes of Rose, Rosemary and Aunt Cosy and even the dog Tommy. But also this book could just be used for enjoyment and to enhance a WW2 topic. It will no doubt encourage a lot of discussion about life during the London Blitz.
If you want a quick taster of the book, then you can read an extract from the book here: