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THAT BURNING SUMMER reviews2
April 18, 2015 by Lydia Syson
Please follow links for full reviews (where available):
Linda Newbery wrote in Armadillo (Editor’s Choice):
‘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.’
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.’
Suzi Feay in the Financial Times wrote:
‘During the Battle of Britain, fighters zigzagged across the wide skies above Romney Marsh in Kent and planes that crashed were engulfed almost immediately, along with their pilots. When Henryk, a Polish pilot, bails out over the marshes he is discovered by teenage Peggy, who is immediately drawn to him. Terrified of having to return to his flying duties, he hides with her help.
That Burning Summer is Lydia Syson’s second novel and her great strength is characterisation. Peggy’s mean aunt and shrewd but kindly uncle, her ebullient cousin and most of all her pesky but lovable 11-year-old brother Ernest are vividly drawn. Ernest is obsessed with government instructions about how to spot spies. Add to the mix a local bully, spiteful anonymous letters and the ready availability of guns, and the scene seems set for inevitable tragedy.
A touching evocation of a desperate wartime romance, which evokes a vanished era of hardship and fortitude.’
We Love This Book wrote:
‘Unearthing aspects of the Second World War that teenagers are unlikely to cover in schools, a wealth of history is entwined with the story of one family and a seemingly impossible romance…That Burning Summer is a refreshingly different war story, focussing as it does on the rarely mentioned Polish allies who joined the war effort, fighting for Britain as they were unable to help from occupied Poland. Henryk’s slowly revealed past is fascinating, as is the exploration of pacifism at home and the effects of the aerial dogfights on pilots. But it is Syson’s beautifully developed characters that make the history come vividly to life.’
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