The Skylark's War by Hilary Mckay

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Leonora

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Oct 25, 2018
Cornwall England
Dusting off some old manuscripts last week, I got excited by a children's novel I started about ten years ago and never finished. In my enthusiasm I decided to find out what was happening in the world of children's books. (My kids have grown up now. For a while I was quite tuned in.)
The Skylark's War was recommended by several sources as one of/the best book of 2018.
I loved it. It's funny in the style of E. Nesbit, deeply humane and with wonderful characters, telling the experience of living through the first world war. In a lot of ways it reminded me of The Cazalet Chronicles, a 'grown up' series.
And that raises a lot of questions. I'd love to know what anyone else thought about it - especially those of you writing children's fiction. I thought it was marketed as Middle Grade, but it works perfectly well as a novel for all ages. In fact, it hardly seemed written for kids at all.
Which I liked very much! The compartmentalizing of so much literature by age seems a bit depressing to me. But from a craft and pitching point of view it raises interesting questions and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
And quite apart from that, I highly recommend it.
 
Haven't read it, but will order it tonight! I read to my kids a lot (a lot!!!) and relish a good book like this :)
 
I'm ordering it from my local library this week. This year, I've been reading novels set in Cornwall, as it's where my detective stories happen. Some writers really know the county, while others appear to have had their novel steered here by their publisher's marketing department, on the basis that everyone knows and loves Cornwall...the Daphne du Maurier and Poldark effect—put a seagull flying over a sweet cottage on a clifftop, with a blue sea beneath on the book cover and people will buy it!

I see that Hilary McKay was born and lives outside of Cornwall, so I'm interested to see how she handles Kernow people and their sometimes strange ways.

Hilary McKay - Literature
 
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Words from Your Birth Year

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