Friday, March 28, 2014

The Children of the King--Sonya Hartnett

Title: The Children of the King
Author: Sonya Hartnett
Publisher: Candlewick, 2014.
Pages: 272 p
Source: VOYA
Compensation: None
When an attack on London during World War II seems imminent, 14 year old Jeremy and 12 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' adventure and adds a thrilling element to the novel. Students can successfully fulfill historical fiction requirements based on the WWII backdrop. Historical fiction fans' curiousity about the two princes may prompt further research. 

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