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Historical stories

Set partly or wholly in the past


The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tipps

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

Lily and her family and friends are told that they have just a few weeks to leave their village which is to be used as a training ground for the D-Day Landings.

A quiet and readable story about the changes wartime brings. Loyalty and friendship. Breaking a serious promise.

Growing-Up, Historical, War

The Apprentices

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

Each story in the series tells of the life of an apprentice in Victorian London.

Enjoyably Dickensian stories of Victorian London. Some vulgarity, but offset by virtue in general.

Historical, Short

Arthur - The Seeing Stone

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

12-year-old Arthur de Caldicot is the younger son of a lesser landowner in the Welsh Marches at the turn of the 13th century.

Firmly-rooted and very human take on 13th century life in England, mixed in with the story of the mythical Arthur. Simple, if sometimes superstitious, faith.

Arthurian, Friendship, Growing-Up, Historical, Magic

Back Home

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Rusty is a 12-year-old English girl returning home after spending the war years with a family in the USA.

Honest efforts by a returning young evacuee to fit into now unfamiliar surroundings. Contrast between pre- and post-war expectations of conventional roles. Casting in a good light a more bohemian style of upbringing, less concerned with conventional taboos and more with children's freedom. Family tension and break-up.

Coping with, Family, Girls, Growing-Up, Historical, War

Black Hearts in Battersea

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

This novel is set at the beginning of the 19th century in an England plagued by wolves and revolutionaries.

Set in nineteenth century England, Black Hearts in Battersea is an enthralling tale of intrigue, conspiracy and suspense where the young characters must face cases of mistaken identity, revolutionary plots, hungry wolves, a shipwreck and attempts at kidnap and murder to save each other, the duke and duchess, and the King of England. It is a great read.

Adventure, Fantasy, Friendship, Growing-Up, Historical

Blitzcat

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care → Unobjectionable

Lord Gort, a cat is trying to find her owner, an RAF pilot.

A pleasant read for the most part; the action is seen either through the eyes of the cat, always couched in such terms as a cat would be expected to understand, or through those of the person to whom she's presently attached. The story is marred by the section concerning Sergeant Smith, who keeps a collection of pin-up girls, and the married woman who makes love to him on a hilltop.

Animal, Historical, War

Blood Red Snow White

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Unobjectionable

Arthur Ransome is a young English journalist based in Russia during the Great War who is used by both sides to carry information and messages to and fro.

Well-crafted semi-biography of Arthur Ransome's life in Russia around the time of the Revolution. Accepted marital infidelity. Some description of the sexual excesses of Rasputin and others. Love for a country not one's own. Courage in crossing war-torn countries in difficult conditions.

Biographical, Historical, Romantic, War

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Young Bruno is upset when his family is uprooted from their comfortable Berlin townhouse and forced to live in the featureless Outwith at the insistence of his soldier father's chief The Fury.

A moving look at the horrors of Auschwitz through the eyes of an innocent young German boy, the son of the camp commandant. No explicit violence but the final moments are quite tragic. May be suitable for younger readers in company with an older reader who can explain what's happening if needed.

Friendship, Growing-Up, Historical, Moral Issue, Thought-provoking, War

A Cold Wind Blowing

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Unobjectionable

Piers Medley, a young Sussex forester at the time of the Reformation, takes in a girl whom he rescues from vagabonds.

Personal religious difficulties in post-Reformation England, including the marrying of professed Religious. Goodhearted generosity in a difficult situation.

Historical, Romantic, Thought-provoking

The Confession of Brother Haluin

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Brother Haluin of the Shrewsbury Community falls from the Abbey roof and believing himself close to death confesses to the Abbot (with Brother Cadfael in attendance) that he had assisted in the abortion of his illegitimate child before entering the monastery.

Detective, Historical

Coram Boy

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Positive

In 17th-century England care for unwanted (often illegitimate) children is the responsiblity of the Parish which is often underfunded and ill-disposed.

Historical, Thought-provoking

The Daughter of Time

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Positive

Grant, a policeman, is confined to a hospital bed with a concussed spine.

Detective, Historical

Devil in the Fog

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

14-year-old George is the oldest of the 7 Treet children who, together with their father, are touring thespians, forever on the edge of poverty, but forever cheerful.

Growing-Up, Historical

The Donkey's Crusade

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Thomas is 17-year-old child of a family most of whose members are of the Guild of Travellers, undertaking to guide people around the Middle and Far East.

Adventure, Animal, Fantasy, Historical

Double Image

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

David is resentful at having to spend a week with his grandad after his grandma has died, but discovers a story which his grandfather has kept hidden for many years.

Growing appreciation for the life led by ones grandparents, and the secret burden they've had to bear.

Family, Historical

Drummer Boy

Style: Weak

Attitude: Positive

Charley Bates, a young Rochford boy with no ties, is drawn by the glitter of the army to join up as a drummer boy during the Crimean War.

Historical, War

The Dungeon

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Alan McLennan is a clan laird, driven by revenge against the man who had his family taken away or killed in front of him.

Tragic story about a man driven to revenge to the exclusion of all else; the kindness of those who look after Peony, even McLennan albeit unwittingly.

Historical

The Eagle of the Ninth

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Marcus is invalided out of the army after his first command is overrun by tribesmen stirred up by druids into a holy war; he undertakes to travel north in an attempt to retrieve the Eagle emblem of the vanished Ninth Legion, lost when under his father's command ten years before.

A well-researched and accessible window on life in Roman Britain. Believable characters populate an historical landscape. Loyalty of friends and respect for varied lifestyles and cultures.

Boys, Historical

The Empty Sleeve

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Peter Gannet is apprenticed to a locksmith in Covent Garden.

Historical

Esperanza Rising

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Esperanza, accustomed to a comfortable life, has to come to terms with poverty when her father is killed, leaving their land to his self-serving brothers.

Dignity in poverty. Generosity of families and individuals, helping others even when it is difficult.

Coping with, Growing-Up, Historical

An Excellent Mystery

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

With the siege of Winchester and the destruction of its Benedictine monastery, an eldery monk (dying from wounds inflicted on the crusades) together with a young, mute but devoted companion-monk, arrive at Shrewsbury seeking refuge.

Detective, Historical

Fair Stood the Wind for France

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

John Franklin is forced to crash land in wartime Occupied France.

Historical, Romantic, War

The Falconer's Knot

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Chiara, sent to a convent without any feeling of a vocation, meets Silvano, seeking sanctuary in the nearby monastery when the two houses are asked to provide pigments for the painting in the Basilica in nearby Assisi.

Lightweight whodunnit. Positive and coherent portrayal of the religious life, vocations and love among young people.

Detective, Growing-Up, Historical, Romantic

Fireweed

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

15-year-old Bill is evacuated to Wales away from the grudging aunt with whom he lives.

A sturdy attempt to portray two mid-teenagers looking after themselves during the war; slightly dated style; no immodesty

Growing-Up, Historical, War

Five Children and It

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Cyril, Robert, Anthea, Jane and their baby brother find a Psammead (a sand fairy) in a gravel pit and it promises them one wish a day, whose effects will vanish at sunset.

Historical, Magic

Flambards

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Set in the years before the Great War.

This is the first of the popular Flambards books (Edge of the Cloud, Flambards in Summer, Flambards Divided et al.) and is aimed at teenagers.

Historical

Gideon the Cutpurse

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Peter & Kate are thrown back to the 18th century and are befriended by Gideon and his new employers, the Byng family.

Two youngsters making friends and mustering resources to return them home. Time travel and paradoxes. Big and small families. Peter's parents' effective separation and reconciliation. Life in the Past and the Present.

Adventure, Family, Friendship, Historical, Time-Travel

Goodnight, Mr Tom

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Willie Beech, a timid 9-year-old, is evacuated from Deptford to Sussex, and is billeted on Tom Oakley, a widower who has allowed himself to become bitter and misanthropic since his wife and child died of scarlet fever 40 years before.

Slightly awkward storyline, but heartwarming; religious-driven cruelty of Willie's mother, her illegitimate baby and eventual suicide; the kindness of the villagers and especially of Tom Oakley.

Coping with, Friendship, Growing-Up, Historical, War

Granny was a Buffer Girl

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Jess is about to start a year abroad as part of her language degree.

Historical, Short

Greenmantle

Style: Classic

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Richard Hannay, after a period as a soldier on the front line, is called in by Sir Walter Bullivant to discover what secret card the Germans hold with which to inflame the Islamic peoples of the Middle East.

Wartime danger and heroism. While the broad brushstroke attitude towards war and other peoples is typical of the period of the book's publication, there is a surprising degree of respect both for the German enemy and for the Turkish religion and mindset.

Adventure, Boys, Classic, Historical, War

Here Lies Arthur

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Unobjectionable

Gwyna, escaping from raiders, is rescued by Merlin from the river and in turn helps him to deceive the impressionable warriors into believing in a Lady of the Lake, guardian of a mystical sword she bequeathes to Arthur.

Revisionist take on the Arthurian canon, suggesting the truth behind the magical elements of the stories. Slightly disturbing questions of sexual identity. Marital coldness and subsequent infidelity. Some brutal deaths and a little earthiness & indelicacy.

Arthurian, Growing-Up, Historical

The Heretic's Apprentice

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

When a certain Elave, attendant to Willian of Lythwood (a local merchant and abbey benefactor) arrives with the dead body of his master from foreign travels and requsts its burial within the abbey walls, a visiting prelate, Gerbert, recalls that William had been reproved for heretical ideas.

Detective, Historical

The Hermit of Eyton Forest

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Richard Ludel dies leaving his 10-year-old son, Richard, heir to the estates.

Detective, Historical

His Banner Over Me

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

At the age of 4 Flora Gould (Gorrie) leaves Taiwan, where she was born to Canadian missionaries, to return with her family to Canada where she stays with her brothers and sisters until she is close to marrying.

Biographical, Family, Historical

The Historical Stories of Cynthia Harnett

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive → Edifying

Gentle, readable and edifying historical stories featuring youngsters in homely situations between the 15th and 17th centuries.

Historical

The House in Norham Gardens

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Clare, a 14-year-old orphaned when young, is living with her great-aunts in the draughty big Victorian house her family has always owned when she finds the tribal tamburan her great-grandfather brought back from New Guinea.

A multi-layered book, exploring cultures which differ by place and by time. Clare's level-headedness and responsibility in the face of her elderly aunts' occasional inability to focus on the real world. The robust history and interests of Clare's aunts.

Growing-Up, Historical, Spooky, Thought-provoking

House of Secrets

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Polly sets out as an inexperienced maid in the big household of Swallowcliffe Hall, trying to find her feet while helping friends, being helped by others, and trying to ignore the scorn of some more experienced maids.

Conventional upstairs-downstairs story. Friendship & scorn for a newcomer. Circumspect subplot about an illegitimate child and the suggestion that he be aborted.

Historical

The House of Windjammer

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

The Windjammer family business is ruined when their fleet of merchant ships is destroyed, leaving them at the mercy of the bankers and unable to fulfil their obligations to their employees.

Adventure, Historical

Huntingtower

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Dickson McCunn "an incurable romantic" sells his grocery shop and goes walking in the highlands.

Adventure, Boys, Classic, Historical

I, Juan de Pareja

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Juan is born into slavery in Seville, Spain in the early 1600s, and after the death of his mother when he is just five years old he becomes the pageboy of a wealthy Spanish lady, Emilia.

Based on what is known of the life and household of the Spanish painter Diego Velazquez, this is a sensitive fictional account of the life of Juan de Pareja, a black Spaniard and slave-cum-friend of the painter. Friendship, loyalty, mercy and generosity are beautifully illustrated, and issues of slavery and cruelty are explored with a modern understanding of their evil, but in a way that is not unbelievable in the story's context.

Biographical, Historical

I Was There

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Hans, Heinz and Gunter are three German boys at the time of Hitler's rise to power.

Historical, War

The Jacaranda Tree

Style: Good

Attitude: Objectionable

Patterson, manager of a plantation in Burma, organises the evacuation of the small English community there as the Japanese advance.

Historical, War

Jane Eyre

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

Jane Eyre becomes governess to the ward of Mr Rochester, with whom she falls in love.

Classic, Girls, Historical, Romantic

Joan of Arc

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

20th-century Eloise is told the story of Joan of Arc by an angel after she is bitterly disappointed not to have been chosen to play Joan in the town's celebrations, as she was not born in Orleans.

Sympathetic retailing of the story of a warrior saint.

Biographical, Historical, War

Johnnie's Blitz

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Johnnie is staying with his grandparents in the East End as his father is at war and is on the run from the authorities after being accused of a theft he did not commit.

Historical, War

Journey to the River Sea

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Maia is an orphan who goes with her new governess to live with her nearest relatives in Brazil in the city of Manaus on the Amazon River, a city made rich by the local rubber plantations.

Entertaining and engaging. Caricature of crass and small-minded Westerners among sympathetic natives.

Adventure, Friendship, Historical

The King's Head

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Brother Dominic and his fellow monks are scouring the battlefield looking for survivors to tend to when he comes across a head, detached from its body but still talking.

Lightweight framework of folk stories; mocking or unsure attitude of people of Dark Ages to Christianity

Fantasy, Historical

The Lady and the Squire

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Tom, translating documents for the English, is taken prisoner by a servant of the Bishop of Reims but escapes with Emily, the Bishop's niece, while Ann, disguised again as Alan, has left the Duke to rejoin the English army proper.

Adventure, Historical

The Lantern Bearers

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

A young Roman Decurion, unwilling to leave Britain with the last of the Legions, lights the beacon of Rutupiae one last time.

Superb story mingling action with authentic historical detail without losing depth or accessibility. Some brutal but not gratuitous violence; positive portrayal of Christianity; loyalty in friendship in spite of many hardships

Adventure, Historical

A Likely Lad

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Willy Overs is a 12-year-old Manchester boy early this century, whose aspirations to shine academically look like being thwarted by his Father's well- intentioned desire for his son's early employment.

A well-drawn picture of Manchester life at the turn of the century: the contrast between the hard-working Ardwick Overs and their Trafford cousins, the Sowters is amusingly depicted, with the rather scatty figure of Great Aunt Meg in the middle. At all times it is clear which way lies virtue and although Willy's father is to a certain extent the villain of the piece it is clear that his actions are wholly justified according to his way of thinking.

Historical

A Little Lower Than the Angels

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Gabriel is an 11-year-old, apprenticed to a greedy stonemason, some time during the years of the Black Death.

Portrays some of the naivety and credulity of the time, while not being an exercise in church-bashing. Gabriel's innocence protects him from being drawn into the evils carried out by Garvey and Mason Colley who later teams up with him. The ending, where Gabriel approaches a nearby monastery for help in writing down the words of the plays which might otherwise be lost, is especially nice.

Historical

A Little Princess

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Sara Crewe is sent to school in London by her father before he returns to India.

Classic riches-to-rags-to-riches story of a virtuous child, abandoned to the mild cruelties of grasping spinsters. Virtue is rewarded, vice is shamed, and large and well-to-do families are cheerful and welcoming.

Classic, Friendship, Girls, Historical

The Load of Unicorn

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Young Benedict “Bendy” Goodrich lives with his adult brothers who run their retired father's scrivener business in Paternoster lane, but his ambition is to work with William Caxton who's pioneering the newly prosperous craft of printing in his workshop by Westminster Abbey.

Interesting historical story around the changeover to printing. A hotheaded young man learns to control himself. Generosity of several individuals when helping others without reward.

Adventure, Historical

Look to the Lady

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Val Gyrth, son of a nobleman, is down on his luck when he is rather mysteriously invited to meet Albert Campion, escaping abduction on the way.

Detective, Historical

Monk's Hood

Style: Average

Attitude: Edifying

Gervase Bonel dies of poisoning before an agreement to hand his manor over to Shrewsbury Abbey can be ratified.

Detective, Historical

Moonfleet

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

John Trenchard, a 15-year-old, becomes involved with a gang of smugglers, flees with their leader and finds a valuable diamond.

Adventure, Classic, Historical

Mr Standfast

Style: Classic

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

To trap a brilliant German agent, Richard Hannay has to pose as a pacifist, assisted by Mary Lamington, Blenkiron, Peter Pienaar and others.

Straightforward plot. Elements of endurance and loyalty. A subtle, if unredeemed, villain. Some demeaning references to native Africans. War as a job to be done.

Adventure, Boys, Classic, Historical, Romantic, War

Ninny's Boat

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Ninny, an 8th century boy, leaves with the people he has grown up with when their land is flooded.

Historical

Operation Red Jericho

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Becca & Doug McKenzie become involved with the Honourable Guild of Specialists when their parents disappear, leaving them in the care or their uncle, captain of the research boat _Expedient_.

Slightly larger-than-life heroes and villains; a broad cultural sweep to the front and backstories; unremarked equality of men and women; courage and steadfastness among (heroic) allies. Impetuous if well-intentioned disobedience and deception by the children.

Adventure, Friendship, Historical

A Parcel of Patterns

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The Plague is brought to the Derbyshire town of Eyam in 1665 by a parcel of dress patterns sent up from London.

Historical

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc is the remarkable story of the saint's life as told by the fictional Sieur Louis de Conté (whose initials match the author's), Joan's page and secretary, in the form of a memoir written in the twilight of life.

Biographical, Historical

Peter Raven: Under Fire

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The year is 1800 as Peter Raven sails as midshipman aboard the Torrone, only to be hurt in a sea battle off France; when he sails again to the Caribbean the ship is attacked by Pirates and he is set adrift to save himself.

An exciting story, well-populated. A few slightly gruesome scenes.

Adventure, Boys, Historical, Seafaring, War

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

In 1900 Australia, a part of teenage girls from a College for Young Ladies goes on a trip to Hanging Rock.

Classic, Historical, Spooky

The Prisoner of Zenda

Style: Classic

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Erstwhile King Rudolf of Ruritania is drugged and then kidnapped the day before his coronation; his guards Sapt and Fritz happen upon Rudolf Rassendyll, an Englishman abroad, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the king, due to the king's ancestor's having fathered a child somewhere in the Rassendyll ancestry.

Swashbuckling adventure with a dashing hero, a bearded villain and a lovely heroine.

Adventure, Boys, Classic, Historical, Romantic

Private Peaceful

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

Like many other English soldiers in WWI, 'Tommo' Peaceful is too young to fight, however he lies about his age.

Historical, Thought-provoking, War

The Raven in the Foregate

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Father Adam, easy-going parish priest of the Foregate parish, dies and is replaced by Father Ailnoth, a scholarly and zealous cleric who brings a housekeeper and a young servant, Benet, who is put to work helping Brother Cadfael in the garden.

Detective, Historical

Red Leech

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

When Amyus and Mycroft become aware of the escape of John Wilkes Booth, whose assassination of President Lincoln has made him a rallying-point for a possible Confederate army, Sherlock takes matters into his own hands and tracks down where Booth is staying in Surrey and follows his accomplices when they take Matty hostage.

Disappointing if unproblematic historical adventure story. Some interesting ethical discussions based around Plato's Republic, but mostly a run-of-the-mill tale including a disfigured antagonist with a poolful of lethal reptiles. Some scary moments at the hands of the villains.

Detective, Historical

Ring out Bow Bells!

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Dickon is apprenticed to Master Whittington, former mayor of London and head of a house of Mercers, although Dickon's own family are victuallers - old enemies of the clothiers.

Family, Historical

Running out of Time

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

When a Diphtheria epidemic starts in the village of Clifton in 1840, Jessie's mother explains to her what the adults in the village all know: that the year is in fact 1996, but the inhabitants of the village chose to live as though in the 19th century as an experiment and a showcase.

Contrasting the simple 19th century lifestyle with its modern unsympathetic equivalent. Ambivalent at the end as to which is better.

Growing-Up, Historical

The Sanctuary Sparrow

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Liliwin, a wandering minstrel, is thrown out of Daniel Aurifaber's wedding feast after a jug is broken during his juggling act.

Detective, Historical

Shadowmancer

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Parson Demurral is using the power of the Keruvim to bring him the power he wants; Raphah, helped by Thomas and Kate, has to recover the Keruvim and stop Demurral before he ends the Time of Captivity and lets loose the fallen Seruvim.

Adventure, Fantasy, Historical, Magic

The Shakespeare Stealer

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Widge is a poor orphan who has the rare ability to write a unique coded shorthand.

A fast-moving historical novel that introduces you to life in 16th century London among the actors of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. It depicts friendship, loyalty and honesty in a positive way.

Adventure, Historical

The Silver Branch

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Rome's control over Britain is swaying, and two young Roman soldiers find themselves flung unexpectedly into the power politics of British leadership.

Politics & adventure in Roman Britain. Courage & loyalty to friends and family.

Adventure, Boys, Classic, Historical

SilverFin

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

James Bond is a new boy at Eton and must learn the ropes quickly, while fending off the bullying tactics of George Hellebore and his cronies.

Boyhood adventure with some slightly frightening genetic experiments.

Adventure, Boys, Historical, War

Smith

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Smith is a 12-year-old pickpocket in Dickensian London.

Adventure, Historical

Standing in the Shadows

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Grace, more tomboy than girl, is finding it hard to work as a kitchenmaid, especially when the male staff are leaving to join the army in France and her father needs help in the stables.

A conventional period story, unoriginal but inoffensive. Horror and uselessness of War. Challenge to traditional work patterns. Family strength even in disagreement. Old story about an illegitimate child.

Family, Historical

The Star of Kazan

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Annika, found by Sigrid and Ellie on a walking trip, is brought up by them in the house of the Professors, until Frau Edeltraut comes along and reveals that she is Annika's mother.

Heartwarming story of one girl's steadfastness in the face of deception and hardships, and the lengths her friends go to to help her.

Friendship, Historical

The Stone Book Quartet

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Positive

4 interlinked short stories covering one rural Macclesfield family over some 3 centuries.

Historical, Short

The Stones of Green Knowe

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

A mediaeval boy living at Green Knowe discovers that by going to the stones behind the house, he can meet the people who have lived and will live in the house.

Classic, Historical, Magic, Spooky

Strange Meeting

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

John Hilliard rejoins his battalion near the front in World War I.

Friendship, Historical, War

The Swallow and the Dark

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care → Unobjectionable

Sam is diagnosed with Spengler's Syndrome, a terminal illness, and must come to terms with his own mortality.

A story which tries sincerely to balance and contrast life and death for a modern youngster and his counterpart in the Great War, but which ultimately lacks depth. Inconclusive look at life & death; divorced family background

Coping with, Historical, Time-Travel, War

The Swish of the Curtain

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Positive → Edifying

As the summer starts, the Halfords move to Fenchester and strike up a friendship with the Fayne & Darwin families, prompting the youngsters to pool their talents and put on a play for their friends and acquaintances.

An undemanding story of youthful ambition and success. Dated but still very readable. Family tensions between children's ambitions and parental plans. Warmhearted generosity and good humour both in public and in private.

Classic, Family, Historical

The Tar Man

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Kate & her father have returned to the 20th Century unwittingly leaving Peter behind in the 18th and bringing instead the criminal Tar Man who uses his new-found abilities as a time-traveller to steal and plunder in this new century.

Slightly less interesting second story. Some nice family touches especially between the adult Peter and his father. Some uncondoned violence from criminal characters. Series starts to become mired in time-travel technobabble.

Adventure, Family, Friendship, Historical, Time-Travel

These Old Shades

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

The Duke of Avon, a French-English aristocrat, rescues Leon, a Paris street urchin from his brother's abuse by employing Leon as a page.

Historical, Romantic

The Thieves of Ostia

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Several of the watchdogs in Flavia's street are decapitated, and Flavia and her friends suspect a man whose daughter died after being bitten by a rabid dog.

Adventure, Historical

The Three Hostages

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

General Sir Richard Hannay, hero of "The 39 Steps" et al.

Adventure, Boys, Classic, Historical

A Traveller in Time

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Penelope visits her aunt and uncle in their farmhouse "Thackers".

A gentle story with the time-travel elements played down, rather as in Penelope Farmer's "Charlotte Sometimes". There is a homely feel about the farmhouse in both eras. Religion does enter into the story since the Tudor peoples are living in a time of religious change where political partisanship is bound up with religious beliefs. Interestingly, although Penelope would seem to be C of E if anything, Catholicism is portrayed positively without any fanatical overtones.

Classic, Historical, Time-Travel

Tuck Everlasting

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The over-protected eleven-year-old Winnie Foster loses her patience and runs away into the woods next to her house where she meets seventeen-year-old Jesse Tuck drinking from a water spring.

A brief but deeply philosophical fantasy that explores the nature of life, change, death and immortality.

Classic, Fantasy, Historical, Thought-provoking

Tug of War

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The Petersen family, fleeing wartime Latvia with the Jansons, are separated at Gdynia; 14-year-old Hugo is left behind when his glasses smash in the crowded railway station.

Historical, War

Voyage

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The story of the voyage of several hundred Jews fleeing prewar Europe across the Atlantic.

Historical, Romantic, War

Voyage of Slaves

Style: Weak → Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Unobjectionable

Ben is captured by slave traders while Ned is rescued from the sea by friendly travelling entertainers who are themselves taken by the slave traders under false pretences.

Easy-reading adventure story with heroism and friendship. Simple characterisations. Surprisingly many violent deaths.

Adventure, Historical, Seafaring

The Voyage of the Arctic Tern

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Lord Hunter travels on the Arctic Tern with a message of peace from Queen Elizabeth of England to the King of Spain.

Remorse at assisting in an evil act, however tempted; redemption by finding and punishing the person responsible.

Adventure, Historical, Seafaring, Spooky

Warrior Scarlet

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Set in the Bronze Age on the Downs near the Ridgeway.

Historical

Warriors of Camlann

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Dan & Ursula have just escaped from Roman Britain and find themselves in Arthurian Britain a few centuries later.

Adventure, Arthurian, Historical, Magic, Time-Travel

Witch Child

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Mary's grandmother is burnt as a witch in the mid 17th century.

Historical, Magic

The Wool-Pack

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Nicholas Fetterlock is the son of a Cotswolds wool merchant at the end of the 15th century when the wool had made such merchants and the country rich.

Classic, Family, Historical

The Writing on the Hearth

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Stephen, whose father was bodyguard to his Lord of Suffolk, is under taken into the Lord's household when his stepfather remarries and his sister enters a convent.

Edifying and interesting historical read. Some ambiguous elements of witchcraft.

Classic, Family, Historical