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Tamar [Paperback]

Mal Peet
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Jun 2006
Written by the author of 'Keeper', winner of the 2004 Branford-Boase award, this is a thrilling and moving story about love, betrayal and belonging.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 425 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd (5 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406303941
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406303940
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mal Peet's first novel, Keeper, won the Branford Boase Award and the Bronze Nestle Children's Book Award; Tamar won the Carnegie Medal; and Exposure was the 2009 winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. Mal lives in Devon.

Product Description


"This sombre and distinguished book is as fine a piece of storytelling as you are likely to read this year." The Guardian "A complex and rewarding novel which is two stories in one. Peet moves effortlessly and skilfully between the 1940s and the present and the characters are strong and well-drawn. Terrific stuff." TES Teacher" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A gripping audio version of the Carnegie award-winning story about love, lies and secrets in a time of war. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 25 Sep 2008
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
In 1944, two spies are sent deep within Nazi-occupied Holland. Their mission - to help those involved with the Dutch resistance movement. Both men are trained to send, receive, and translate coded messages. These messages contain valuable information concerning the movements of the Nazi army. Even though these men face death at every turn, they are committed to stopping the evil that is associated with the Nazi regime.

In 1995, Tamar is dealing with the suicide of her grandfather. He has left Tamar a box full of clues that she cannot decipher. She decides that it is one of his elaborate puzzles; one that Tamar may not be able to solve. After enlisting the help of her cousin, Yoyo, Tamar sets off on a journey to discover why her grandfather left her these treasures, and what they mean to her family.

Mal Peet has created a novel that intertwines the story of a young girl's journey of self-discovery and a young soldier's fight to stay alive. It is a beautifully written novel that contains secrets within secrets. Peet leads the reader on an adventure that is both intriguing and frightening. Readers may be left speechless once the truth unfolds.

A definite must-read for those who love historical fiction.

Reviewed by: LadyJay
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational stuff 3 Feb 2006
By A Customer
Tamar is an amazing story for young adults - and, indeed, older readers! It is challenging and impelling, but stays within the understanding of a teenager. It is an excellent example of a modern 'classic', using a multi-layered approach, providing opportunity for further reading and research.
Mal Peet manages to get inside the head of a young woman, who is independent and thoughtful. The way she develops as a person will appeal to many, as her thoughts and feelings are explored.
The wartime aspect is completely compelling, providing excitement and the final twist in the story.
Three generations of my family has read and enjoyed it - I would recommend this book to anyone, whether they love reading or not.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy Winner 13 July 2006
By Wordman
Mal Peet's sensitive and gripping novel is well honoured by the 2006 Carnegie Medal. A tale of love and betrayal, courage and human tragedy, the storyline dips backwards and forwards from wartime Holland and the grim events of the final freezing winter of the war to a young girl's awakening love in 1995.

A brilliant literary feast from Walker Books burgeoning fiction list. I rate this five stars - gold at that!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written 1 Jan 2009
Wow. I really loved this book and how beautifully written it is. The book is almost split in two: the "Modern" half and the "Old" half.

Two British communicators, Tamar and Dart are sent to Holland to help the resistance against the Nazis and the story unravells to reveal romance, betrayal and mystery. The book then switches to "Now" where we follow the story of one these men's grandchildren who is just trying to understand her grandfather's (Tamar's) suicide which has left behind confusion. He has left behind a box full of clues from which she must discover the shocking truth of her grandparents and father that turn everything she has known on its head. A powerful book that really keeps you thinking long after you have finished.

Highly recommended to teenagers and older.


Happy New Year 2009 everyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fine book 20 Oct 2010
This book first came to my attention when travelling on a Melbourne tram (Australia) last year. I noticed a teenage girl sitting opposite me was very absorbed in the book she was reading. Most school children of that age are normally in a trance as they listen to their iPods, but she was quite different as she did not have an iPod in her ears, nor did she look up as she read her book. This continued for about 15 minutes, so I thought this must be a very good book. I sneaked a look at its title and made a mental note of it. It was called "Tamar". This in itself caught my attention because I know it is the name of a river in Tasmania that runs through Launceston and its surrounds. I lived in the Tamar valley outside Launceston for 18 months and could see the river from my house. I also knew it was named after a river in England.

I stored the book's title up for over a year before doing a Google search for it and thereby finding out the author's name and publishing details. I then searched for a copy in local libraries and bookshops without success, before ordering it on Amazon UK in July of 2010. It then took me another couple of months to get round to reading it on holidays after it arrived. I am now just finished it and taking the unusual step of writing a review for it as I was so taken with it. Whilst it is classed as YA literature, I am someone in my 50s and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The narrator is an English teenage girl named Tamar whose grandfather has just died. This follows the disappearance of her father five years earlier when she was 10. The grandfather has left her a box containing a variety of objects including maps, photos and various coded messages. Solving the mystery in this box will enable her to make sense of her grandfather's death.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 24 Aug 2008
By H.P.
Mal Peet has done it again. I thought 'Keeper' was absolutely brilliant but with 'Tamar' he has excelled himself. Set mainly in WW2 this is a story of two 'British' undercover agents, 'Dart' and 'Tamar', helping the Dutch Resistance against the Nazis. Their mission is tense enough but what gave the story an extra twist and made it all the more gripping was not, as I thought would happen, the inevitable capture and torture by the Gestapo. That didn't happen. Instead we have a tangled, tragic love story that is only uncovered years later by sixteen year old Tamar, grand daughter of William Hyde. William could be Dart or Tamar - we only find out at the end.
This is an excellent book, full of attention to detail, excellent writing, wry humour and page turning action. It reminded me a little of Aidan Chambers' 'Postcards from No Man's land' which also won the Carnegie, but in Tamar the plotting is even tighter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Intriguing
I bought this book as a requirement on my PGCE course but I actually really enjoyed it. The characters were likable which made the plot more intriguing and the language was very... Read more
Published 11 months ago by rbrindley
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book i have read in a while
Just an amazing read, interesting and beautifully written ! Couldn't put it down for a minute,take the time to read it you won't regret it.
Published 13 months ago by Dr. S. M. Nimmo
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written story that pulls you along
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, being neither in the target market (it's marketed as a YA novel) nor especially fond of WW2 stories, but Mal Peet's writing has a... Read more
Published 13 months ago by John Beresford
5.0 out of 5 stars "Rivers are fine things to be named after, but that's not what...
A dual narrative historical fiction set in 1945 occupied Holland and 1995 England, Tamar tells the story of two SOE spies. Read more
Published 15 months ago by lilysmum
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read. WWII Spies. Intrigue, romance, and a stonking good...
An excellent book. Two spies dropped into Holland near to the end of WWII. It kept me spellbound for two days. Extremely well constructed, and painfully credible.
Published 22 months ago by mosses farmhouse
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable and suspenseful read
This book has two strands. The first follows two British agents Dart and Tamar who are parachuted into Nazi occupied Holland during the second world war. Read more
Published 22 months ago by RavingReviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I hadn't realised this book was for teenagers but I thought it was wonderful. A poignant and informative insight into holland in World War II. Read more
Published on 1 Jun 2012 by Bigsis
5.0 out of 5 stars Tamar
This book has been sat on my 'adult' bookshelf (I'm 15) for several years but I got it out of the library and couldn't understand why I hadn't picked it up sooner. Read more
Published on 19 May 2012 by meggiemoo
3.0 out of 5 stars What Trixie knew
The dual time perspectives (1945/1995)in "Tamar" make it a very approachable way for young adult (and older) readers to get an idea of the different sorts of courage it took for... Read more
Published on 20 Mar 2012 by Papergirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Absolutely love this book and it is likely to appeal to all audiences being historical, including action, suspense and romance. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by Miss Mcdoo
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If you loved tamar...any other books you would recommend? 0 15 Jun 2010
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