The Children of the King [NOOK Book]

Overview

Internationally acclaimed author Sonya Hartnett tells a hauntingly beautiful story set during World War II. Cecily and Jeremy have been sent to live with their uncle Peregrine in the English countryside, safe from the war, along with a young refugee named May. But when Cecily and May find two mysterious boys hiding in the ruins of a nearby castle, an extraordinary adventure begins.
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The Children of the King

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Overview

Internationally acclaimed author Sonya Hartnett tells a hauntingly beautiful story set during World War II. Cecily and Jeremy have been sent to live with their uncle Peregrine in the English countryside, safe from the war, along with a young refugee named May. But when Cecily and May find two mysterious boys hiding in the ruins of a nearby castle, an extraordinary adventure begins.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The novel rewards careful reading with well-turned phrases and apt metaphors. At the book’s heart are the many believable characters who gradually reveal aspects of themselves as they act, react, and subtly change throughout the novel. ... The writing is accessible, the story flows well, and the plot moves at a good pace. ... Hartnett is a fiercely truthful, accomplished storyteller whose stories have real staying power.
—Booklist (starred review)

Through her likable, vividly wrought characters, Hartnett respectfully captures the depth and ferocity of childhood. The poetic descriptions of the girls’ rural wanderings are to be savored like the best tea and biscuits, but the masterful lyricism never slows the suspenseful story... Mystery and history dance a mesmerizing waltz in this poignant, thoroughly entertaining novel that shows how "[t]he past lives everywhere."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

As always, Hartnett’s gift for language deftly conveys both the sublime and the mundane in life. ... Hartnett grounds the relatively minor fantasy presence in the book with a sincere, heartfelt examination of the pain and hardship endured by civilians in wartime.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

[Hartnett's] writing is superb, carrying echoes of Austen but also touched with a perceptive yet incisive wit that recalls Muriel Spark... An atmospheric concoction, haunted in the nicest possible ways, and readable at various levels of sophistication (and also suitable for an ongoing readaloud). Fans of classic children’s literature will delight in seeing a familiar plot so richly interpreted, and sharp readers will appreciate the provocative new resonance under the old story.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

Satisfying, deeply layered... Thrilling.
—VOYA

Hartnett’s wonderful storytelling and her exquisite writing unite in this multi-layered book, combining a coming-of-age story, accounts of two historical events, and a touch of the supernatural
—Library Media Connection

This story could work as a complementary text for students learning about World War II history, as it gives a glimpse into what everyday life was like and the conflicting feelings that people had about war.
—School Library Journal

The writing is evocative and engrossing, with clever wordplay and imagery and not the slightest hint of condescension. Hartnett expects her readers to think for themselves, which independent readers will appreciate. This appealing, intelligent style and compelling historical narrative makes The Children of the King an excellent book to read aloud.
—KidsReads.com

Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Jen McIntosh
When an attack on London during World War II seems imminent, fourteen-year-old Jeremy and twelve-year-old Cecily are forced to evacuate with their cold mother and leave their playful but important father behind. The children travel to an uncle's house in the country but not before picking up an "evacuee" who has also been sent to safety, but without her parents. The self-absorbed Cecily sees May as someone she can protect by bossing her around and begs her mother to take May to Uncle Peregrine's house as well. Once there, the girls find themselves wrapped up in a peculiar mystery when they discover two odd boys hiding in a nearby castle. The Children Of The King is a satisfying, deeply layered, historical fiction novel. On the surface, the novel is about World War II and the bombings on London. Within the novel, Uncle Peregrine tells the children a story about two young princes and the horrible things that happen to them because of their uncle, the Duke. The princes (not named in the novel) are Edward and Richard, sons of King Edward IV, locked in the Tower of London and assumed murdered, and their uncle is Duke of Gloucester who becomes King Richard III. Peregrine's story is closely related to the girls' adventures and adds a thrilling element to the novel. Students can successfully fulfill historical fiction requirements based on the WWII backdrop. Historical fiction fans' curiosity about the two princes may prompt further research. Reviewer: Jen McIntosh; Ages 11 to 14.
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 5–8—This book takes place in England during World War II, when the possibility of air raids was ever-present. Siblings Cecily and Jeremy, along with their mother Heloise, are sent to the northern countryside to live with Heloise's brother, Peregrine Lockwood, in mysterious Heron Hall. Cecily notices many children evacuees being taken in by local townspeople and asks her mother if they can adopt a child. The family winds up taking in May Bright, a 10-year-old refugee from London. The two girls become fast friends and begin exploring Heron Hall and the surrounding areas. On one of their daily adventures, the girls come across two boys in the ruins of a nearby castle. Cecily finds the boys creepy and annoying, but there is more to them than meets the eye. Though slow-moving, this story could work as a complementary text for students learning about World War II history, as it gives a glimpse into what everyday life was like and the conflicting feelings that people had about war.—Jesten Ray, Seattle Public Library, WA
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-01-04
No matter how far north of London the Lockwoods travel, they can't escape the ravages of World War II. Twelve-year-old Cecily Lockwood isn't happy to leave her revered father behind in London, but she's secretly thrilled she and her older brother, Jeremy, are bound for Heron Hall, her uncle Peregrine's lovely country manor. At the train station, they convince their mother to take in a 10-year-old London evacuee named May Bright, who, to Cecily's delight, becomes a sort of sister to her, though (less delightful for bossy Cecily) she's "prone to bouts of independence." Through her likable, vividly wrought characters, Hartnett respectfully captures the depth and ferocity of childhood. The poetic descriptions of the girls' rural wanderings are to be savored like the best tea and biscuits, but the masterful lyricism never slows the suspenseful story of Cecily and May's discovery of two "horrid boys" in velvet jackets, hiding among nearby castle ruins…or the rising tension between Jeremy and his mother as he battles his sense of helplessness as others fight the war. Uncle Peregrine tells a 450-year-old story whose themes are curiously relevant to World War II England…perhaps even to the be-velveted boys-in-hiding. Mystery and history dance a mesmerizing waltz in this poignant, thoroughly entertaining novel that shows how "[t]he past lives everywhere." (Historical fiction. 11-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763670429
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/25/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 742,854
  • Age range: 10 years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Sonya Hartnett is the award-winning author of several novels for teens, including Thursday’s Child, What the Birds See, Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf, The Ghost’s Child, Butterfly, and the Michael L. Printz Honor Book Surrender. She is also the author of an early chapter book, Sadie and Ratz, illustrated by Ann James. The Children of the King follows two other acclaimed middle-grade novels set in times of war: The Silver Donkey and The Midnight Zoo. In 2008, Sonya Hartnett was awarded the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for the body of her work. She lives in Australia.
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