Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Mrs N's Been Reading - London Calling

Just finished Edward Bloor's London Calling. Not sure what made me pick this one up, because the cover is kind of bland, but I sure am glad I did. I really liked this one! Kind of hard to describe without giving too much away, but I'll give it a shot. Martin Conway is just finishing 7th grade at a private school, when the story begins. He really hates the school, because the students are mostly rich kids. He's there because his mother is the school secretary, so his tuition is free. On the last day of school he ends up in the middle of a disturbance instigated by the son of a prominent family. When Martin's best friend, a kid on scholarship because his dad is a mason working on a project at the school, defends him and winds up getting expelled, Martin goes into a bit of a depression and holes up in his basement bedroom. After Martin's Nana, who seems to have been slipping into dementia, and who he always felt close to, dies, he inherits an old cathedral style 1940's radio from her. When he falls asleep with the radio tuned between stations acting as white noise and a night light to help him sleep, Martin has a very detailed and nagging dream in which he is sent back to 1940 London during the blitz, and meets a boy named Jimmy. But was it a dream? Martin writes down details and starts to research them to see if the events he witnessed and the people he met were in fact real. This sets him off on a long adventure that ends with him traveling to England to try to right a wrong. He ultimately changes some of what had been accepted as historic facts, and changes the course of several families' futures including his own, some for the better, some worse. The end is very moving. I was sniveling. Excellent book! Nothing objectionable for middle schoolers, and you may learn a little history along the way as well. Enjoy!

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