Reviews & more

  1. Find out more about the history behind LIBERTY’S FIRE

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    March 2, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    Liberty's Fire Cover

    The Paris Commune was the revolutionary and socialist government that ruled Paris for 72 days in 1871 just after the Franco-Prussian War and the Siege of Paris – not to be confused with the first French Revolution in 1789, or the July Revolution of 1830, or indeed the small uprising of 1832 featured in Les Miserables, or even the 1848 revolution which brought in the short-lived Second Republic. keep reading


  2. THAT BURNING SUMMER reviews

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    October 10, 2013 by Lydia Syson

    Please follow links for full reviews (where available):

    Nicholas Tucker in The Independent (‘Best Books of 2013′) wrote:

    ‘…the final resolution lives up to this story’s consistent excellence. This is only the second novel from an author very much to look out for.’

    Linda Newbery wrote in Armadillo:

    ‘Lydia Syson is the kind of writer who lets you know from the outset that you’re in safe hands…Like my last Editor’s Choice, Elizabeth Wein’s Rose Under Fire, this is an unusual angle on the Second World War and a excellent addition to the range of fiction available for teenagers.’ keep reading


  3. A WORLD BETWEEN US reviews

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    September 6, 2013 by Lydia Syson

    Christmas book pick in The Observer , The Telegraph , The Morning Star & Radio Suffolk, Teen book club choice on The Guardian Children’s Book website, recommended as a ‘hot read’ on teen website SugarscapeHighly Commended for Branford Boase Award 2013, longlisted for The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2013, shortlisted for WeRead Book Award 2013, longlisted for UKLA Book Award 2014 and Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2013, nominated for the  CILIP Carnegie Medal, 2014.

    Please follow links for full reviews….

    A World Between Us is an outstanding debut novel for teenagers…what Syson captures so well is a sense of heartbreaking courage, comradeship and lost innocence…Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, for what I suspect is a keep reading


  4. That Burning Summer: links and background resources

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    September 5, 2013 by Lydia Syson

    romneymarsh2012c

    Interested in exploring any of the history, ideas or places in That Burning Summer?  Here are some good starting points – keep reading


  5. Spanish Civil War songs

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    September 27, 2012 by Lydia Syson

    LBC song book cover

    You can hear different versions of nearly all the songs in A World Between Us on YouTube.  Many of these videos include evocative archive images of the Spanish Civil War. Print out song sheets for The Internationale and The Peat Bog Soldiers from the Hot Key Books website.

    keep reading


  6. DOCTOR OF LOVE reviews

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    September 7, 2012 by Lydia Syson

    JamesGraham

    “Syson’s enthralling book offers a new portrait of Graham as an authentic innovator… [An] admirable and engaging book.” - The Guardian

    “I was entranced by Lydia Syson’s superb volume… keep reading


  7. My friendly locals…

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    September 5, 2012 by Lydia Syson

    TOMLnarniawindow[1]

    …in other words, the independent booksellers I’m lucky enough to have near me. We may not have the tube in South East London, but you’re never far from a brilliant bookshop.   keep reading


  8. Find out more about the background to A WORLD BETWEEN US

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    September 4, 2012 by Lydia Syson

    There have been about 15,000 books written in English about the Spanish Civil War – twice that many in Spanish, and more are published every month in Spain.

    Here I’ve listed some of the books that influenced me most keep reading


  9. My local hero: the magnificent Dr Lettsom

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    August 29, 2012 by Lydia Syson

    the lettsom family

    My favourite place to write is in bed, right at the top of our house in Camberwell.  Looking out of the window, I can see the furthermost corner of the estate that once belonged to a man I fondly think of as my neighbour, although he lived here over two hundred years ago.  I’m often reminded of Dr Lettsom when I’m up the road working on our family allotment.  It’s just where his pleasure garden used to be, part of what is now a community garden which still bears his name.

    I kept running into Dr Lettsom in the course of my research into eighteenth-century medicine for my book DOCTOR OF LOVE, always with great pleasure.  Eventually I  put together some of what I’d found out for the website of my children’s primary school…as you’ll see, Dog Kennel Hill pupils have more than one reason to be interested in Dr Lettsom.

    http://www.dkh.org.uk/dr-lettsom/


  10. It’s All Relative & Drawn to Spain

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    August 4, 2012 by Lydia Syson

    Here’s an article about some of the romantics, rebels and wordsmiths in my family which I wrote for the Jewish Socialist magazine’s Winter 2012 issue, followed by David Rosenberg’s review of A World Between Us. keep reading