Review Blog

Aug 04 2014

The girl from Hard Times Hill by Emma Barnes

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Flash Backs series. Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781472904430.
(Age: 10+) Recommended, Historical novel, Post World War Two. The series Flash Backs is producing some quick read historical novels which not only tell a good story in less than one hundred pages, have lively interesting characters and are set in a time relevant to today's readers.
The night run by Bali Rai told the story of one boy's bid for freedom the evening of the Amritsar massacre in India in 1919.
The girl from Hard Times Hill tells of Megan after the war in Wales where she has been told by the teacher that she can aim for the Eleven Plus exam and so get into the local grammar school. She is torn between wanting to do something more than girls did in past generations, and her friendship with a girl in her class who despises those who go to grammar school. Her father accepts a job in Newcastle, but when the family finds she may get into grammar school, stays put. But Dad has to sell food door to door to make a living, so things need to change.
The background, just after the end of World War Two in Britain is most convincing. Barnes has insinuated much information into the few pages, and built a credible story about a young girl in the midst of change.
Fran Knight

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