Hettie and the London Blitz: A World War II Survival Story

Stone Arch. (Girls Survive). Jan. 2021. 112p. pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781515883333.
Gr 3-6–In this newest installment of the “Girls Survive” series, a 12-year-old white girl named Hettie is the nurturing older sister trying to keep her family together under one roof in WWII England during the London Blitz. Hettie’s sick baby sister has recently died, so the last thing Hettie wants is to have her family separate, but many of London’s children are being evacuated to safety out of the city. Hettie will have to put on her brave face and convince Dad to let her and her two younger brothers stay in London helping him to prepare their bomb shelter. Once the inevitable happens, Hettie is sent to the country, and she’ll have to think of new ways to keep her family together even when they are physically apart. Readers will be touched by Hettie’s dedication to her family, her tenderness as an older sister, and her ability to keep happy memories alive from better times. Likewise, readers will be moved by the generosity of secondary characters in the English countryside like Hettie’s foster mother who is initially cold, but warms up after sharing her own family story. The book’s datelines help readers with the historical chronology of the London Blitz. The word “Nazi” is never used, which is a disservice to children learning about WWII history through this work.
VERDICT A flawed yet touching historical fiction story worth adding to the collection.

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