Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Series: Hands on History
Title: Leo’s War
Author: Patricia Murphy
Publisher: Poolbeg Press
Published: July 31st, 2018
I always enjoy opportunities to read books which may inspire children to want to read or to help them find out more so jumped at the opportunity to read this story. What I hadn’t anticipated was to find it such a well written story about aspects of the second World War that I confess to knowing nothing about. The book may have been written for children to enjoy but I have to say that as an adult I found it enthralling, especially when many of the characters and events are based on reality!
Set in Italy in 1943 the story opens with twelve year old Leo hiding his young sister when the Nazis arrest their mother. Unsure about what will happen, he follows his Mum’s instructions and asks Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty for help. This is the start of a drama filled adventure as Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty is the organiser of the Rome Escape Line and became known as ‘The Pimpernel of the Vatican’. Many of the events portrayed are based on reality and the author brings them vividly to life in the imagination of the reader. The adversity, trauma and horrors of life in Rome during the war are shared through the adventures and escapades of Leo as he strives to assist Hugh and thwart the Nazis.
The story is fast paced, engaging and one that will appeal to children and adults alike. It deals with many different aspects of war without romanticising it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it for independent readers, probably from eight years old to one hundred and eight!
I was gifted a copy of this book and chose to read it. This is my honest review after enjoying reading it.
It’s 1943 and young Leo tries to protect his disabled sister Ruby as the Nazis invade Italy. After his mother is arrested, he turns to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty to save them. But he is no ordinary priest. Known as ‘The Pimpernel of the Vatican’, the Monsignor is the legendary organizer of the Rome Escape Line. Soon Leo is helping out with this secret network dedicated to saving the lives of escaped prisoners of war, partisans and Jews. But as the sinister Nazi leader Kappler closes in on the network, can Leo and his sister stay out of his evil clutches?
Author Bio –
Patricia Murphy is the bestselling author of The Easter Rising 1916 – Molly’s Diary and Dan’s Diary – the War of Independence 1920-22 published by Poolbeg.
She has also written the prize-winning “The Chingles” trilogy of children’s Celtic fantasy novels. Patricia is also an award winning Producer/Director of documentaries including Children of Helen House, the BBC series on a children’s hospice and Born to Be Different Channel 4’s flagship series following children born with disabilities. Many of her groundbreaking programmes are about children’s rights and topics such as growing up in care, crime and the criminal justice system. She has also made a number of history programmes including Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4 and has produced and directed films for the Open University.
Patricia grew up in Dublin and is a graduate in English and History from Trinity College Dublin and of Journalism at Dublin City University. She now lives in Oxford with her husband and young daughter.
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Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing materials for this post and organising the tour. The review is my own, honest opinion of this book after reading it.