Emmie let out a huge sob – “It’s not a film set”, she cried. She held onto Jack for a moment, then took a step back, closed her eyes and shouted - “WHERE AM I?”
When Jack and Emmie suddenly find themselves transported back to London in 1940, they find a world both familiar, yet very different. As they dodge falling bombs and over-zealous policemen, they befriend Jan - a lonely Polish refugee. Together, they must work out if the shadowy figure they keep seeing is a spy and unlock the secret of getting home again…
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Average rating from 27 members
Great reading book for primary school students. The book was easy to read and follow, with enjoyable characters and a great scene setting information. The Blitz Bus is also informative to young students, with historical information woven into an enjoyable story. Would be a great read to recommend to students who are learning about, or interested in World War Two; particularly from a British perspective.
In the same vein as Mr. Barrington's Travelling Trunk (Texas history) or the Magic Tree House (everything history) series, this book has our two protagonists wondering why they should care about an aspect of history...and suddenly whisked away into the past to learn exactly why! The time traveling premise was a little loose....they ride a bus to the past?...but the historic elements of the book were well developed and quite educational.
After reading a lot of heavy stuff of late, I wanted something light to read. Made a bit of a mistake there. Definitely not a light read, but what a brilliantly written and executed book. Kudos to the author for dipping his toes into historical fiction for a children's book when superheroes and such are all the rage. The Blitz Bus reminded me of Goodnight Sweetheart, the British science fiction time travel sitcom (without the comedy). When Gary Sparrow initial travels back to war-torn London, it's fun. Till the bombs drop, then he is absolutely terrified. And I could imagine that is probably how young Jack and Emmie felt. The problem is they were initially alone. But thankfully for them, along came Jan. I have to admit it is a long, long time since I have read this age level of a book, but I found it exceptional. The historical content alone was superb, and it bought that period of history up close and personal. Time travel of any description is in vogue at the moment, and even if this isn't your actual Doctor Who, it will still play well with younger ones. It really is a surprise package, with mystery and intrigue for the young ones to get their teeth into. As well as the friendship they find along the way. I thought the dialogue was very realistic, past and present. The author described the sights and sounds of the times very well indeed. Going to do my best to get my daughters, who run their respective libraries, to get copies of The Blitz Bus when it is released. I think it would make a perfect educational tool for youngsters. Whether the second world war would crop up in the curriculum again, I do not know, but it would be a viable option if it did. I am so pleased I took time out from my usual reading material to take in this excellent book. The Blitz Bus definitely receives a 5-star rating for me. Thank you, NetGalley, BooksGo Social and Glen Blackwell for the ADC of the book.
What a fabulous little find this was! If you're old enough to remember the Nicholas Lyndhurst time travelling show Goodnight Sweetheart, then you're in for a treat with this one. "𝙄𝙩'𝙨 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙖 𝙛𝙞𝙡𝙢 𝙨𝙚𝙩!" Very well written & researched, with accurate descriptions of the sights & sounds in blitzed London. Aimed at the younger generation, but would be a delight for any age interested in England's history. "𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙢 𝙄?" When Jack and Emmie suddenly find themselves transported back to London in 1940, they find a world both familiar, yet very different. Many thanks to Netgalley for my ARC in return for my honest review. 𝗜 𝗴𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗮 4 ⭐ 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴
Taking a bus and travelling back in time to London in the blitz, and discovering the underground station full of beds and people hiding from bombs, What’s not to love about this book? Sleeping in the underground station for a few nights then in an air-raid shelter, Jack and Emmie, lived through bombings and the daily life of Blitzed London, Making friends with two Polish children who had fled Poland due to the war, Jack and Emmie try to figure out how to get home to their own time. Jan helped them hide, and together with Stan, they solve the time travel mystery. A great read for 8-13 year olds interested in history and adventure. Thanks to #NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ahead of publication in exchange for an honest review
The Blitz Bus by Glen Blackwell Pub Date 07 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 20 Oct 2021 BooksGoSocial Historical Fiction | Middle Grade I am reviewing The Blitz Bus through BooksGoSocial and Netgalley: When Jack and Emmie were transported back to 1940 London they find a world that is both familiar and very different. They find themselves dodging falling bombs and over zealous policemen, they befriend Jan, a lonely Polish refugee. Together the group finds themselves having to find out if the shadowy figure that is following them is a spy, and unlock the mystery of how they will get home again. The Blitz Bus, would be a great read for Elementary/Primary School boys or girls who like adventures. I give The Blitz Bus five out of five stars! Happy Reading!
This was a great little story. I liked that it was heavily laden with historical fact. The several points of views made it quite complex for a book that, I presume was aimed at young seniors or late primary readers . I found the ending a, little bit abrupt though.
I was drawn to this book because it featured two genres that always appeal to me - world war history and time travel. I found the story to be a fairly quick easy read that would be well suited to primary school students and would hopefully interest them in exploring the subject matter in more depth. The story begins when Jack's teacher assigns students a writing project on what it might have been like to live in London at the time of the Blitz when children were often being sent off to live in the country. It's difficult for Jack to really imagine what it would be like and he struggles to produce anything that will please the teacher which makes him late meeting his friend Emmie at the bus stop. He almost misses the bus but gets on through the back just in time and before they know it Jack and friend Emmie find themselves in what seems like a movie scene but turns out to be London in WW2. Not only are they dealing with culture shock but they quickly learn that people will stop them and ask why they aren't in school. Life becomes a little easier when they meet Jan - a young boy who had arrived in England via Kindertransport and who is having trouble making friends among his classmates. He misses his home in Poland. There is a little mystery thrown in when the trio encounter another youth who seems to be acting in a suspicious manner. Might he be a spy? If they do something abut him will it change their future? Can they tell anyone that they are time travelers and how can they possibly get home to their own time? For North American readers the language may take a little getting used to and the ending of the story is pretty abrupt but overall I enjoyed the story and would recommend it to younger readers. Many thanks to #NetGalley and #BooksGoSocial for letting me read an advance copy. The opinions expressed are all my own.
What a quirky little book. Was so lovely to be involved with them getting on tje bus and being transported back in time instead of like tje majority of book taking you to the future
A very evocative story of two children who are transported back to 1940 and the challenges that they find, mainly to just survive without a family. They meet two polish refugees and begin to learn more about the realities of the blitz, rather than the sanitized version they have seen in books and school.. This makes for a really good introduction to the subject and dos not shy away from many of the harsh realities of life. Of course, their major concern is whether they will ever see their homes and families again.
Princess Fuzzypants here: Modern day Jack is struggling to relate to the history of WWII. So often people of all ages think all history is nothing but a litany of dates and facts. They cannot grasp that it is the story of people, not unlike themselves, living in very different times. Someone, someday, may be reading a book about what they are experiencing right now. For me, that is the beauty and the pathos of history. This book is a wonderful story of how that we learn more by being able to put ourselves into the story than we can by dry reading. For Jack and Emmie, the opportunity to do this is thrust upon them unwillingly. They get off a bus and walk into London, 1940, during the Blitz. Many of the children who were born in London had been transported to safer locations but the refugees from war-torn Europe arrive in the city under fire. Before they know it they are swept into the Bethnal Green Tube station during a raid. They experience the fear, despair and the depreciations first hand. Using their wits, they are able to survive and avoid capture until they can figure out a way to return to their time. Of great interest to me was the choice of the tube station as it was the scene of a great disaster later in the war. Before the two children can return the lessons continue. They meet two very different Polish refugees who, through them, find the first true friends they have made since coming to England. By the time Jack and Emmie wave goodbye to Jan and Stan, they know the two lonely boys will support each other after they leave. The book tells the story of the lives of everyday people during the Blitz. I have done a lot of reading and study on the Blitz. The story is a perfect way to educate subtlety through the eyes of two children. It is easy to read and understand. I would recommend it to the young reader who likes adventure stories set in the past. It is both informative and entertaining. Five purrs and two paws up.
I love children’s historical fiction and was delighted when I received a copy of Glen Blackwell’s new book. As a primary school teacher I have read many quality children’s books set during the second world war; Once, Goodnight Mister Tom, Letters from the Lighthouse, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, The Umbrella Mouse and Our Castle by the Sea are all superb and explore various aspects and experiences of World War 2. All of the aforementioned are must reads and I can now add The Blitz Bus to that list of wonderful wartime stories. The Blitz Bus is the story of two children, Jack and Emmie, who inexplicably find themselves transported back to London, 1940, on their way home from school. At first they are convinced they have inadvertently stepped into a film set but then the bombs start falling, they attract the attention of the authorities, have to seek safety in the underground and it quickly becomes apparent that this is most definitely their new reality. Along with new friend Jan - a polish refugee - they must work to uncover the identity of a potential spy and try to find a way to get back home. The Blitz Bus is a thrilling wartime adventure that explores the Blitz through the eyes of children and it makes for a very enjoyable and educational read. For a historical wartime read, the whole idea for the book is unique and original and I love the concept. At school, both Jack and Emmie are struggling to properly imagine what life would have been like during World War 2 so what better way to understand it than to experience it for themselves. Finding themselves in 1940’s London the children are surrounded by a world that is both familiar and unfamiliar. London is being bombed, people seek shelter in air-raid shelters, food is rationed and every day is a battle to survive. The story-telling is peppered with historical facts and Blackwell’s well-researched and accurate descriptions immerse readers into wartime London, it is easy to imagine what it would have been like which is exactly what children need unless they plan on sneaking a ride on the Blitz Bus. In their search to get back home, Emmie and Jack meet two young polish children, Jan and Stan, who have travelled to England via the Kindertransport system in the hope of finding safe refuge from the German army. Jan and Stan's personal stories add another welcome historical element to the narrative and as the friendship develops between the children from the past and the present, emotional conversations shed light on the experiences of wartime refugees and the struggles and challenges they faced at being in an unfamiliar country and far from home. I really enjoyed this aspect of the narrative as these are important stories that need to be heard. The Blitz Bus is a very accessible read that I raced through in a very enjoyable morning. I would highly recommend to children in upper key stage two, it would be an excellent book to read when studying World War 2. With huge thanks to Glen Blackwell and Zoetrope for my copy of this brilliant wartime read. Recommended for 9+.
Very enjoyable read! The time of the Blitz in London is a special interest of mine, and this one did not disappoint. Full of interesting, and often sad, details about civilian life during WW2, but not so graphic as to make this a Y.A. book. Perfect for introducing middle-grade readers to the subject of WW2. **I received a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are strictly my own. Thanks, Netgalley!**
First off, thank you @netgalley and @gblackwellbooks for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this lovely book! The book is due to be published in two days time, September 07, 2021. This is my first book ever in the time travel genre, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it even though it is aimed for younger readers. I found myself engrossed in the historical elements of it, I am not particularly learned about World War history, so this simplified version really tweaked my interest, I might even seek out other books set during those times. The writing style is simple but engaging with the right hint of poignancy and excitement. I couldnt help feeling a deep sense of anxiety for the children; for Jack and Emmie stuck in the past and for Jan who fled home because of war. Every time Jan mentions lugging his gas-mask around everywhere, I felt a jolt of emotion I cannot explain. The sheer terror or trying to hold on to normalcy in the middle of a war torn world is something I cannot imagine. This book will surely help readers empathize with the countless refugees and refugee children scattered all over the globe, who are trying to claim a little place for themselves in a world where they constantly labeled as strangers. I would definitely recommend this book to children and adults alike. It's a fun, thrilling ride through time, scattered with relevant historical facts that could teach us a thing or two about kindness and tolerance.
Thank you to the author, BooksGoSocial and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book combines London in WWII and time travel - which sounds an unlikely pairing, but it's so well done that middle grade children will find this a great read. Starting from the present day, and jumping back into London in 1940, the book has well-researched descriptions and brings in aspects that will appeal to children, making history real to them, while at the same time injecting a sombre note into what were terribly difficult times. I loved the way the author used the characters Jan and Stan to introduce the Kindertransport and show how important giving others safe refuge is. Highly recommend!