Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

London Calling

London Calling

Edward Bloor
For ages 12 and up
Random House, 2008   ISBN: 978-0375843631

It seems as if everything in Martin's life is going wrong these days. He is miserably unhappy at the private school that his mother insists that he attends. Other than his two friends, there is really nothing that Martin likes about All Souls Preparatory School. Then there is the fact that his father and mother are apartĀ becauseĀ his father is a drunk. Things are only made worse when, on the last day of term, Martin and his two friends get into a fight with some boys in school. During the struggle a boy is injured and a piece of an expensive statue is damaged.

Completely overwhelmed by his own unhappiness, Martin spends much of his summer holiday asleep, and he hardly ventures out of his basement bedroom. It is only when he brings home an old radio that his Nana left him, that things start to change. Martin falls asleep listening to the radio, and the next thing he knows he has been transported to London and the year is 1940. The great city is being heavily bombed by the Germans and danger is all around. Martin meets and makes friends with a boy called Jimmy. Somehow Jimmy seems to know that Martin is there to do something for the young Londoner. What this something is Martin has no idea.

Caught up in a bizarre adventure that he does not understand, Martin does his best to learn about the history of wartime London. His own grandfather worked in the American Embassy in London in 1940, and Martin begins to piece together what his grandfather was really doing at that time and what really happened to Jimmy and his family.

After reading this startling and gripping story, readers will be left with the feeling that there are times when the past and the present really do collide in interesting ways. The author invites us to consider that perhaps there is more to life than just living; we have to do something that we can feel proud of, something that will become our legacy after we are gone.

This unforgettable book will intrigue and move readers of all ages.