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Hero on a Bicycle Audio CD – Audiobook, 23 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Audio CD: 3 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (23 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469274752
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469274751
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,843,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Shirley was born in West Kirby, near Liverpool, and studied fashion and dress design at Liverpool Art School, before continuing her studies at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. She then embarked on a career as a freelance illustrator in London, where she still lives today. She illustrated other writers' work, including Noel Streatfeild, Alison Uttley, Ian Seraillier, Margaret Mahy and notably Dorothy Edwards's My Naughty Little Sister series. Shirley began to write and draw her own picture books when her children were young.

Her first book - Lucy and Tom's Day - was published in 1960, and she followed it with, among others, Dogger and the Alfie series. Shirley Hughes has won the Other Award, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, and the Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration twice, for Dogger in 1977 and for Ella's Big Chance in 2003. In 2007 Dogger was voted the public's favourite Greenaway winner of all time. Shirley received an OBE in 1999 for services to Children's Literature.

Product Description

Review

"* "Shirley Hughes is one of the all time greats." (Today) * "She will be remembered for the warmth and humour with which she has captured the fast changes in the family through the second half of the twentieth century." (The Guardian on Shirley Hughes)" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A gripping and moving first novel by one of the world's best-loved writers for children. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. Colley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Shirley Hughes is one of the best-loved writers for children, and at the grand age of 84, Shirley has just published her first novel. Hero on a Bicycle is suitable for confident readers aged around 10 and over, but adults can also enjoy this well-told story.
Set in Florence, Italy, during the Second World War, this story is inspired by the authors own experiences and on people she met in Italy, just after the war.
Thirteen-year-old Paolo lives in Florence with his English mother, older sister and his beloved dog, Guido. The Germans have invaded and Paolo's father is in hiding and secretly suspected of helping the Partisans, who are roaming the hills around Florence.
Paolo loves going for secret midnight bike rides. He knows this is dangerous because nightly curfews are in place and anyone caught breaking the rules would suffer at the hands of the German occupying force. One night on his way home, Paolo is stopped by a group of Partisans. They ask him to take an important message to his mother, a message that leads them all in to a very dangerous adventure.
I won't spoil the plot by revealing anymore, but be prepared for a tense, dangerous, exciting and thrilling story that does not shy away from the brutality and fear suffered in wartime. The plot and characters are very realistic and there is one particular scene that I found very moving.
This is NOT a comparison, but I enjoyed this book in a similar way that I enjoy Michael Morpurgo's wartime stories. I think this type of story can be enjoyed by young and old alike, and a realistic story is a good way to learn about a place and time in history.
For more historical details and information all about this book, there is also a great website to browse. Just google the book title.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jan on 10 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover
The name Shirley Hughes brings some wonderful books to mind, but none of them are novels. In the forward to this new book Ms Hughes tells us that this is a story she always knew she would write one day. She visited Florence not long after the end of the war and so this story has obviously been simmering away for some time while she entertained generations of children with her wonderful picture books.

The hero of the title is a thirteen year old boy, Paolo, who lives just outside the city of Florence with his sister Constanza, and their English mother. Their father is not at home as his sympathies lie not with the Italian Fascists and the German occupying force, but with the partisans who are trying to liberate Italy. He felt his family would be safer if he was not around, but they seem to find plenty of danger all by themselves. The family hide two escaped prisoners of war, who are trying to get back to their units and Paolo suddenly finds all the adventure and excitement he has been craving. He is a brave lad, and, with the aid of his trusty bicycle, he saves more than one life before the allied soldiers arrive, the war finally ends and his father is able to come home.

Shirley Hughes is a wonderful storyteller whether she is using words or pictures. I do hope there are other stories and novels that are simmering away waiting to delight us.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anne Macdonald on 21 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my granddaughter as part of her birthday. I also bought the kindle version so have read it myself. It is a great story well written and gives an insight, I think, to the younger generation about what some people did and suffered during the war. My granddaughter (age 10) has now started reading it and told me only last evening how much she was enjoying the book. So different from Mallory Towers and Famous Five!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book chatter on 8 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is Shirely Hughes first full length fiction book, and is surprisingly good. Set in Italy in 1944 near liberation day, it tells the story of English born Signora Crivelli and her family, Paolo and Constanza, who are all trying to keep a low profile as dad has gone to fight with the Partisans. However they become embroiled when two airmen are boarded overnight with them and then whilst trying to meet up with the Partisans, they end up helping one to escape and then the leader of the Partisans to escape a firing squad. All ends happily with liberation and dad returning to find his family heroes as well. Not as good as Tamar (Mal Peet), Auslander (Paul Dowswell) or Fathom Five (Robert Westall) which all deal with spies and Resistance, but it has a place within the teenage genre and is quick paced and easy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rolacolaandalex on 22 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm not very keen on this new book cover! The blue silhouetted cover was fantastic, really captured the whole essence of the book.

To begin with, the opening chapter of this book is fantastic! I was completely absorbed by the adventure through the city, the description of the men and the street corners really brought my imagination to life. It reminded me of my childhood, watching Spy Watch and reading Machine Gunners, that feeling of adventure against the back drop of the brutal war. I didn't know much about Italy at all, but the way Shirley painted every chapter was fantastic and educational. Every cold night in the cellar, every hot day in Florence. I loved every twist and turn and every character which jumped out of the page. I completely recommend it to anybody. A short fantastic read.
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