BN.com Gift Guide

London Calling

( 21 )

Overview

Martin Conway comes from a family filled with heroes and disgraces. His grandfather was a statesman who worked at the US Embassy in London during WWII. His father is an alcoholic who left his family. His sister is an overachieving Ivy League graduate. And Martin? Martin is stuck in between--floundering.

But during the summer after 7th grade, Martin meets a boy who will change his life forever. Jimmy Harker appears one night with a deceptively ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$6.90
BN.com price
(Save 23%)$8.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (59) from $1.99   
  • New (17) from $2.97   
  • Used (42) from $1.99   
London Calling

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price
Note: Visit our Teens Store.

Overview

Martin Conway comes from a family filled with heroes and disgraces. His grandfather was a statesman who worked at the US Embassy in London during WWII. His father is an alcoholic who left his family. His sister is an overachieving Ivy League graduate. And Martin? Martin is stuck in between--floundering.

But during the summer after 7th grade, Martin meets a boy who will change his life forever. Jimmy Harker appears one night with a deceptively simple question: Will you help?

Where did this boy come from, with his strange accent and urgent request? Is he a dream? It's the most vivid dream Martin's ever had. And he meets Jimmy again and again--but how can his dreams be set in London during the Blitz? How can he see his own grandather, standing outside the Embassy? How can he wake up with a head full of people and facts and events that he certainly didn't know when he went to sleep--but which turn out to be verifiably real?

The people and the scenes Martin witnesses have a profound effect on him. They become almost more real to him than his waking companions. And he begins to believe that maybe he can help Jimmy. Or maybe that he must help Jimmy, precisely because all logic and reason argue against it.

This is a truly remarkable and deeply affecting novel about fathers and sons, heroes and scapegoats. About finding a way to live with faith and honor and integrity. And about having an answer to the question: What did you do to help?

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Bloor continues to demonstrate his range, this time mixing historical fiction with time travel in a poignant adventure story about fathers and sons. . . . Have tissues on hand for the final pages.”–Publishers Weekly

“Martin’s determination and the vivid scenes of London during the Blitz are sure to appeal.”–Kliatt

Children's Literature - Amie Rose Rotruck
When Martin Conway inherits an antique radio from his grandmother, he soon finds that the radio connects him with a boy. Through the radio, Martin begins to experience this boy's life during the Blitz in London. At first, Martin is sure he is imagining things. After some research, however, he realizes that the things he sees at night are true historic facts. When an encounter with a bully at school strengthens Martin's determination to leave the exclusive prep school his mother insists he attend, he asks to use this radio as a springboard for a school project. The project culminates in a visit to London with Martin's father, an alcoholic on tense terms with Martin. That trip allows many ill feelings in Martin's family and others to be put to rest. Once again, Edward Bloor creates a masterful tale of human emotion. He expertly weaves fantasy, historical fiction, and coming-of-age pains into a touching and thought-provoking story that also explores how history is made and sometimes unmade.
VOYA - Jan Chapman
John Martin Conway despises his exclusive prep school. A lowly scholarship student, he clashes with the obnoxious great grandson of "Hollerin' Hank Lowery," a famous World War II general and the school's founder. The confrontation results in damage to a statue of the famous general that is being erected at the school. Until things cool down, Martin elects to study at home. He is fascinated by a vintage 1940s Philco radio that once belonged to his grandmother, and falling asleep in front of the radio one night, he travels back in time to London during the Blitz. He meets Jimmy, a young boy whose life has a curious connection with Martin's own ancestor, his grandfather who was an aide to "Hollerin' Hank." Through Jimmy, he learns that the general and his grandfather were not quite the American heroes that they were cracked up to be. Yet the story is more than just a time-travel journey; it is also a journey of personal growth for Martin. Not only does he put to rest a mystery surrounding Jimmy's death, but Martin also comes to terms with his feelings of depression and the sorrow of an absent, alcoholic father. This time-travel fantasy has two deftly woven, parallel story lines that occasionally intersect in intriguing ways. Observant teens will appreciate the contrast between Martin's and Jimmy's lives, particularly with the personal problems that they both strive to overcome. There is a bit of something for everyone in this novel, with its elegant blend of contemporary teen angst, time travel, and history.
KLIATT
Martin is an unhappy 8th-grade student at a snobbish New Jersey prep school that reveres the memory of such famous graduates as General "Hollerin' Hank" Lowery. When Martin inherits an old radio from his grandmother, he starts having weirdly realistic dreams set in London in 1940, where he meets a boy named Jimmy. With the help of his older sister, Martin researches historical details from his dreams. When they turn out to be true, he realizes that he is really traveling through time, and what he learns ends up changing the historical record on General Lowery, bringing peace to an old man's life, and altering a number of lives for the better, including his own. Bloor, author of Tangerine, Story Time, and other offbeat tales for YAs, neatly ties up all the strands in this tale of historical intrigue and wrongs righted. Martin's determination and the vivid scenes of London during the Blitz are sure to appeal. KLIATT Codes: J--Recommended for junior high school students. 2006, Random House, 304p., $16.95.. Ages 12 to 15.
—Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Using the literary technique of magical realism, Bloor brings readers a serious tale of justice and redemption, of fathers and sons, of the privileged and the common. John Martin Conway feels out of place at his exclusive prep school, where he is constantly reminded that he is a scholarship kid. After a confrontation with Hank Lowery, the great-grandson of the school's founder, he requests to work at home on an independent study project. The World War II-era radio that his grandmother left him brings him into contact with Jimmy, a boy who lived during the war and who needs his help. He takes Martin back to the time of the London Blitz. In his own time, he focuses his research on the things Jimmy shows him and the people he encounters. Along the way he uncovers some new information about his grandfather's and General Hank Lowery's dealings during the war and discovers how he can help put Jimmy's soul to rest. He also comes to terms with his alcoholic father and with his own depression. Readers will identify with the modern elements of the story and be drawn into the tension of the historical events. Evocative descriptions and elegant phrasings make the writing most enjoyable, and because the author uses a first-person voice, the story seems very personal, and readers will feel Martin's turmoil and angst. Bloor's fans and those who like a little light fantasy with their history will find something intriguing here.-Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
John hates All Souls Preparatory School, where he's tormented by Hank Lowery, great-grandson of General "Hollerin' Hank" Lowery, a WWII hero. Or was he? John's older sister, revising the article on Lowery for her job at an encyclopedia, suspects otherwise. John holds the answer-in a radio bequeathed to him by his grandmother that turns out to be a time-travel device that takes him to the home of a boy named Jimmy in 1940s London. With Jimmy, John observes Lowery at the U.S. Embassy, during the events that precede and follow Jimmy's death. Then he can answer the question Jimmy puts to him: "What did you do to help?" Helping involves a lot of research on Lowery and the Blitz, and a trip to London to find Jimmy's aging father. Sound complicated and unwieldy? Just add overtones of religion (Is Jimmy an angel? What does God want of John?) and alcoholism (John's father) and you've got an ungainly mess. The history and ethics are fascinating but are treated to a shallow ending, and though the characters are compelling, the dropped threads will make readers tune out. (Fiction. 9-13)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375843631
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 2/12/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 393,706
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Bloor is the author of the celebrated novel Tangerine which was an ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults, a Horn Book Fanfare Selection, and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book. The author lives in Winter Garden, FL.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The Heroes’ Walk

Looking back now, I can see that I spent my seventh-grade year in a state of depression, imprisoned behind the red-brick, black-iron walls of All Souls Preparatory. All Souls is a private, mostly Catholic school in Bethel, New Jersey, about twenty miles east of Princeton.

Back when I was a student, All Souls had two prominent statues on the campus. Franklin D. Roosevelt stood outside the Student Center, which was a little strange since the real President Roosevelt couldn’t stand. Yet there he was, with one hand on a cane and the other hand raised in a friendly wave. John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, stood outside Kennedy Hall. He was pointing energetically into the air, as if he were speaking.

On the last day of school that year, I was sitting in class in Kennedy Hall and looking through the window at FDR. Across the road, the Lowery Library was nearing the end of a major renovation. As part of this, Father Thomas, the headmaster of the school, had decreed that the statues of Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy were to be moved to join a new statue of General Henry M. “Hollerin’ Hank” Lowery in an impressive new entranceway to the library. The entrance would consist of the three statues, a brass informational plaque about each one, and a slab with the words the heroes’ walk carved into it.

That was why Father Leonard, my history teacher, was spending one last class period droning on about World War II and the heroic efforts of General Henry M. Lowery to alert America to the dangers of Adolf Hitler and Nazism. Father Leonard was the twin brother of the headmaster, Father Thomas. They had both attended All Souls Preparatory some thirty years before; now the paths of their lives had circled around and brought them both back to their beloved alma mater.

I hated All Souls Preparatory.

I hated the uniforms; I hated the snobbery; I hated the tradition. I was an outcast there, and I associated only with other outcasts. One of them, sitting immediately to my left, had just raised his hand.

Father Leonard pointed to him warily and said, “Mr. Chander, I trust this comment is pertinent.”

“Oh yes, Father. It is most pertinent.”

“Fine. Then you may proceed.”

“I read that General Lowery was not really opposed to the Nazis. In fact, he thought the Nazis would win the war easily, and he advised President Roosevelt to make a deal with Hitler as soon as he could.”

Father Leonard looked pained. “I don’t think those are facts, Pinak. But if you would care to do some independent study in that area, I will give you extra credit for your research.”

“I don’t need any more credit, Father. I already have an average far above one hundred. I just wanted to perhaps start a discussion.”

“No. We need not discuss rumors and half-truths and falsehoods. The historical record is perfectly clear about what the General wrote and said at the time.”

Pinak gave up. “Yes, Father.”

Father Leonard always looked uncomfortable when talking about the late General Lowery. Fathers Leonard and Thomas both believed, faithfully, in the legend of Lowery as a fierce Hitler-hater and Nazi-fighter. In return for that faith, the Lowery family had established a million-dollar trust fund for All Souls Preparatory. All Souls had been General Lowery’s prep school, back when it was all boys and they all lived there. Then it was his son’s and his grandson’s prep school, and now it was his great-grandson’s prep school. That great-grandson, Henry M. Lowery IV, was seated in front of me and to the left. Hank Lowery was what is known there as a “legacy.”

I, on the other hand, was what is known there as a “scholarship.” Worse than that, I was an “employee scholarship.” My mother worked as Father Thomas’s secretary, and, thanks to that, I was allowed to attend the school tuition-free. My mother had worked the same deal for my sister Margaret, who had excelled at All Souls and then gone on to Princeton, where she earned a degree in history. My future prospects, however, were not so bright. Unlike Pinak, who was an academic star, I barely scraped by with C’s.

The only other kid I really associated with was Manetti. I knew him from sixth grade back at Garden State Middle School. He was an employee scholarship, too. His father was in charge of buildings and construction at All Souls, which meant that Manetti actually had it worse than me. At least my parent was hidden away in an office. His was very visible—always walking around on campus in an orange hard hat, or driving around noisily in one of his company trucks. I was watching one of those Manetti Construction trucks unload equipment when the girl in front of me turned and handed me a note.

There was no name on the note, so I set it on the corner of my desk, temporarily ignoring it until I heard a sharp, throat-clearing noise. I glanced up and saw the red, erupted face of Hank Lowery IV. He pointed a stubby finger at the note. I obediently picked it up, opened it, and read this printed message:

You’re dead.

I looked back at Lowery, puzzled. He clenched his jaw and then shook his large head from left to right. He pointed first to the note and then to Pinak. When I finally understood his message, I passed the note over. As Pinak opened the note and read those two words, his dark Indian complexion turned pale with fear.

Shortly after that exchange, Father Leonard’s lifeless lecture, and the school day, and the school year, all came to an end with the ringing of the bell.

As we did every day, Pinak, Manetti, and I walked together to the Administration Building. Manetti and I had to wait for our employee parents to finish work; Pinak simply had nothing better to do. He asked his mother to pick him up later so that he could hang out with us. On that day, he probably regretted that arrangement.

Even before we got out of the classroom, some kid muttered to Pinak, “Lowery’s gonna kick your ass outside.”

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Best book ever

    This book was one of the most intresting of books to cross me at first it seems like a lame person book but the history and twist of events captures the mind

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    Great as aresol cheese

    Nice job edward bloor

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 11, 2011

    London Calling is unique.

    London Calling is unlike any other historical fiction book I have ever read. It is an unusual mix of strong spiritual ideas and the science fiction of time travel. When an antique radio takes Martin Conway to the Battle of Britain, he is like a ghost because only a boy named Jimmy can see or hear him. Now Martin must decide whether he is crazy or sent by God to help a man who survived the Blitz.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2010

    A very good read

    I enjoyed reading the human emotion is this book. And the fantasy weaved in with the historical fiction was satisfying. I recommend London Calling to all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2009

    London Calling Book Review

    I just read and finished the book called London Calling. This book is about a boy named martin. He is a normal kid going to a private school, until everything changes when he gets a radio. He gets the radio from his crazy Nana who is all into spirits and living a good life so you can go to heaven. Well he brings the radio home and one night as he is falling asleep he meets a boy named Jimmy. Martin can't tell if he's dreaming or if he's really traveled through time or if he is just crazy. He begins writing down names of people he meets and things that he stumbles upon in his crazy dreams. As he has more dreams about this boy named Jimmy and what he went threw in World War II, he begins to reveal historical differences between today's understanding of history and the actual events. He uncovers things that just don't seem right in todays history, all thanks to this boy named Jimmy. I would tell you more but your just going to have to read it.

    I would recommend this book to people who are into World War II and history. If you are not into history that much then you will find the character development really good. You get to know all the characters and feel what they are feeling.

    If i were to rate this book i would give it a 4 out of 10. I would rate it so low for a couple of reasons. First because I really don't like history that much. Second because it doesn't have much action in , and i like a good action or horror book. But there are some parts in this book where it is really good and i just couldn't put the book down. Like i said if you love history and you want to learn and have a good plot behind learning then this book is for you and you should take the time to read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the best Historical fiction books i have ever read!

    London Calling was a thrilling tale aboute a boy who travels back in time to london during the london blitz 1940. While learning and being entertained you devlope a relationship with the characters.all in all i recommend this book totally!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 8, 2009

    Good Non-fiction Book

    While I was reading the book London Calling, I began to notice I couldn¿t put the book down it was just so good. The author Edward Bloor has written many young adult books that have received good reviews, including a book called Clementine which I am interested in. <BR/> The book London Calling is about a normal boy who is bullied but just as things got better he received a radio from his grandma who just past away. The book is very suspenseful, thrilling, and very entertaining. <BR/> In the book it talks about 1940¿s London which at the time a war was going on within the country. The book is non-fiction so I would recommend it to teenagers who are interested in war like books. <BR/> My rating for the book is a five out of five, mainly because Edward talks about everything he leaves out just enough detail so you keep reading through to the next chapter. This is definitely a good book to read if you need to do a project on because it also includes a little history. Personally my favorite book that I have read as a young reader!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 3, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

    LONDON CALLING opens with a fight at school between the rich boys and the scholarship boys. A stone hits one of the statues in the new walkway causing damage. The commotion from the fight catches the attention of the headmaster who decides that he will determine the punishment at the end of the summer vacation. Martin dreads going back for this meeting. He hates the school so much that he requests to have independent studies for the entire new school year. <BR/><BR/>His grandmother dies, leaving him this old radio from the 1940's. One night, Martin falls asleep listening to the sounds on the radio and is transported back to the 1940's in London during World War II. There he meets Jimmy, a young boy, who asks for his help. <BR/><BR/>England during the wartime scares Martin and he can't tell if he's dreaming or if he's really traveled through time. He begins writing down names of people he meets and events that he hears mentioned to research later. Digging deeper into the past, he begins to unravel historical differences between today's understanding of history and the actual events. Martin realizes how history changes--with the victor's side writing the accounts of the events. The deeper he digs, the more truths he uncovers, and the more the radio calls him to help Jimmy. <BR/><BR/>This fascinating book takes a look at how historical moments and figures are shaped by the outcome of an event. While this books starts off slowly, it quickly picks up, drawing the reader deeper into Martin's time-travel adventures. LONDON CALLING will be a thought-provoking book for classroom discussions.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    LONDON CALLING opens with a fight at school between the rich boys and the scholarship boys. A stone hits one of the statues in the new walkway causing damage. The commotion from the fight catches the attention of the headmaster who decides that he will determine the punishment at the end of the summer vacation. Martin dreads going back for this meeting. He hates the school so much that he requests to have independent studies for the entire new school year. His grandmother dies, leaving him this old radio from the 1940's. One night, Martin falls asleep listening to the sounds on the radio and is transported back to the 1940¿s in London during World War II. There he meets Jimmy, a young boy, who asks for his help. England during the wartime scares Martin and he can¿t tell if he¿s dreaming or if he¿s really traveled through time. He begins writing down names of people he meets and events that he hears mentioned to research later. Digging deeper into the past, he begins to unravel historical differences between today¿s understanding of history and the actual events. Martin realizes how history changes--with the victor¿s side writing the accounts of the events. The deeper he digs, the more truths he uncovers, and the more the radio calls him to help Jimmy. This fascinating book takes a look at how historical moments and figures are shaped by the outcome of an event. While this books starts off slowly, it quickly picks up, drawing the reader deeper into Martin¿s time-travel adventures. LONDON CALLING will be a thought-provoking book for classroom discussions. **Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2007

    London Calling

    London Calling Alfred A. Knopf, 2006, 289 pages, $16.95 By: Edward Bloor 0-375-83635-7 Martin lives with his mom, and older sister Margaret. He doesn¿t want to go to his school any more but his mom wants him to. After his grandma passes away he gets an old radio that his she wanted him to have. It seems like a normal radio but sometimes when Martin goes to bed he sees strange things. Martin doesn¿t know if these things are all a dream or if they are actually happening. I really liked this book because it has adventure and every thing seems to all connect eventually. Also it was so good I couldn¿t put it down. If you like adventure books and mysterious things you would like this book. Another thing is that if you enjoyed London Calling you might want to read another book by Edward Bloor such as Tangerine. -Maggie

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2007

    Beautiful

    This book, I think, was beautfully writen and very easy to read. I have recently found it hard to find a really good book that I do not want to put down but this one deffinately satisfied me. Just to tell you a little about the book, it is about a boy who has dreams that are so real, about World War II, and the thing is he has never heard stories about what is going in in his dreams but everything that is going on in his dreams appears to be exactly true. Well I won't say anymore but that this is a really good book and that I wound recamend this to WWII lovers such as myself

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)