Posts Tagged ‘That Burning Summer’

  1. World Book Week writing competition results. . . and other news

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    June 6, 2017 by Lydia Syson

    World Book Week 2017

    Authors aren’t just for World Book Day, and the positive effects of an author visiting a school continue to have an impact long after books and banners have been packed up.  (Here I am at Sidcot School, Somerset, where bookseller Books on the Hill kindly looked after sales and signing.) Not that the author always sees this.  Happily, some of the schools I visited in March this year have sent me a selection of the writing their students produced in response to our sessions. I promised to send a hardback copy of the US edition of That Burning Summer to the author of the story I liked best.  Little did I realise how hard it would be to choose.

    keep reading


  2. US publication

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    January 31, 2017 by Lydia Syson

    skyponyTBS-frontcover

    The new Sky Pony edition of That Burning Summer will be on the shelves of American bookshops from today, in beautiful hardback, introducing a whole new set of readers to the tensions, excitement and quirks of life in Britain in World War 2.  Invasion, spyfever, fear of flying, pacifism, betrayal…and love, all in a corner of England so close to France you could hear the fighting across the channel: Romney Marsh, often referred to as the Fifth Continent.

    This new edition doesn’t just have a striking new cover. It’s got a whole new penultimate keep reading


  3. Happy ‘Nu’ Year

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    January 6, 2016 by Lydia Syson

    PracticalHouseholder

    My New Year’s resolution should possibly be to work out how to exert better control over my headline images on WordPress…In fact, instead of website improvement, I’ve been preoccupied with 1950s home improvement at The History Girls this month, where I wonder if that whole decade wasn’t one big cover-up.  The post - The Mastery of Knack - was inspired by a Christmas present, a copy of The Practical Householder of October 1956. keep reading


  4. UKYA Extravaganza

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    September 6, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    wXpiauM-_biggerI’m not sure if it sounds more like a circus or a speed-dating event for authors and readers, but I am absolutely certain that the second ever UKYA Extravaganza on October 2015 is going to be a sell out. If you live anywhere near Nottingham and want to come, do book as soon as you can. These events are all about bringing YA authors to fans outside London – read here keep reading


  5. THAT BURNING SUMMER reviews

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    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.’

    keep reading


  6. That Burning Summer: links and background resources

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    March 1, 2015 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


  7. Stiff Upper Lips

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    October 28, 2014 by Lydia Syson

    'Shell Shock' by Nicholas Lens and Nick Cave at La Monnaie Opera House, Brussels http://www.lamonnaie.be/en/opera/

    A few days ago, a new opera called Shell Shock premiered in Brussels, just one of the huge number of commemorative events marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Works of art such as Pat Barker’s mesmerising Regeneration trilogy have already made a huge contribution to our understanding of shell shock, though sadly, not enough to ensure we are dealing with it effectively today.  You don’t ever get over it’ was the headline of a disturbing article in last week’s Guardian about the treatment – or non-treatment – of combat stress today, through interviews with British soldiers who have served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland. Names change - in the 19th century it was known keep reading


  8. Ravilious

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    January 14, 2014 by Lydia Syson

    HMS Ark Royal in Action© IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 284)

    Ravilious in Pictures: The War Paintings by James Russell (The Mainstone Press) – one of the most thoughtful and appropriate Christmas presents I received last month – has many resonances for That Burning Summer.  Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) was probably the best known of the three British Official War Artists who were killed during the Second World War, keep reading


  9. Competition: The History Girls

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    November 30, 2013 by Lydia Syson

    Fairfield church interior with hopsThis week there’s a chance to win a copy of That Burning Summer thanks to the The History Girls - if you already don’t know this consistently thought-provoking blog, I highly recommend exploring it.  Find out here how mooching for years on Romney Marsh inspired me to writeThat Burning Summer,  keep reading


  10. Island of Last Hope

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    November 25, 2013 by Lydia Syson

    Pilots_of_No._303_(Polish)_Squadron_RAF_with_one_of_their_Hawker_Hurricanes,_October_1940._CH1535

    A group of Polish fighter pilots walking away from a Hawker Hurricane in October 1940, probably at RAF Northolt in West London. They were apparently photographed after a sortie – one of over a thousand made in the first six months alone of Squadron 303′s formation.  The expressions on these young men’s faces are mixed – relief, uncertainty, perhaps even surprise and joy that they are actually still alive. keep reading


"an outstanding debut novel for teenagers" THE GUARDIAN

"a fantastic historical fiction debut" THE BOOKSELLER

"a novel of extraordinary resonance and power" ARMADILLO

"a compelling story of politics and passion, bravery and love" BOOKTRUST

'the writing is powerful, the events terrifying' THE BOOKBAG

'Highly recommended' BOOKS FOR KEEPS

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