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The Peace Weavers [Hardcover]

Julia Jarman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 May 2004
Hilde hates living with her father on a USAF base in Suffolk and wishes her mother would allow her to join her in protesting against war in Iraq. How can she even promote peace when she antagonises everyone she meets? A gripping and immensely topical drama set during the recent build up to war in Iraq.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd (6 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842702955
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842702956
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,561,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"My favourite book this year on a topic I feel strongly on, another MUST READ!"
Jasmine, Sheffield Girls High School -- Recommended Reads 2005 (Sheffiled Children's Book Award)

Jarman's book tackles the hard stuff for young people ..... should be read by both young people and their parents. -- BOOKS FOR KEEPS MAY 2006

... has a provocative edge and asks the reader to make hard hitting moral choices... a timely novel. -- The Bookseller 16 January 2004

...skilfully blends history, politics, and romance in a story of immense topicality. -- The Roar - Lion & Unicorn Bookshop Reviews

It's a great book. I was hooked from the first line ... and I hope you will too. -- BOOKS FOR KEEPS No 159 July 2006 by Rosemary Coates Year 10

The PEACE WEAVERS has a provocative edge and asks the reader to make some hard hitting moral choices. -- The Bookseller, January 16th 2004

The story of two feisty young heroines ... blending history, politics and romance in a story of immense topicality. -- Lion & Unicorn Bookshop - The Roar, Summer 2004

gripping ... a must-read book ... fascinating...a terrific read for the youth of today - writes 15year old Clare Fielder. -- Bedfordshire on Sunday

From the Author

The inspiration for this book was a feeling of indignation -firstly that so much publicity was given to an Anglo Saxon warrior and his horse, found on an American airbase in Suffolk,and so little to the skeleton of a very tall woman discovered at the same time, secondly that I had never heard about Peace Weaving till I started to do my own research. I wanted to know what sort of life this woman would have lived. I discovered that she would have had high status and that men would have consulted her about how to avoid war and create peace. Her main role would have been as weaver, both literally, weaving all the cloth for her family's clothes and furnishing, and metaphorically as word weaver and peace weaver. My main but not sole source was Kathleen Herbert's book, Peace-Weavers and Shield Maidens from which I learned that women could be warriors too. Why had I learned none of this at school? Why had I learned only that the Anglo-Saxons were invaders and settlers and that they massacred the indigent population, the Celts and Romano-Celts, when there was no evidence at all for this claim? I grew determined to put the record straight and revive the concept of Peace Weaving. I started to write a historical novel, but couldn't ignore the build up to war with Iraq that I heard about every day. I wondered - what would a 21st century Peace Weaver do? And Hilde Brown came into my head ...I'm thrilled to say that adults as well as young people are enjoying my novel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely story about war and peace 2 Sep 2004
This thought-provoking novel takes place during the build-up to the war with Iraq. Sixteen year-old Hilde is forced to go and live with her father on an American air-base in Suffolk whilst her mother travels to Iraq to protest against the war. She hates it, it represents everything she disagrees with, but she gets drawn into an archological dig on the site and helps excavate the grave of Maethilde, a 6th c peace weaver. Hilde takes a gold brooch from the grave, meaning to hand it in at the next opportunity, but somehow she cannot and begins to dream about its owner. Gradually, she is challenged to speak out about her beliefs, to try to convince other people that the war is wrong - no easy task given the military community where she is living.
The story switches between Hilde's and Maethilde's worlds, getting underneath the skin of both girls, contrasting their cultural and historical perspectives and their ultimate effectiveness in influencing those around them.
This is a book that needed to be written. Published in the category of Teen Fiction, it could be enjoyed by intelligent twelves through Young Adults. Political themes are rare in books for young people and Jarman has tackled this one in a way which will inform and challenge. However, the story is not all bleak and pessimistic, it is also warm, funny, about the pain of growing up and about family relationships. Buy it for a young person you know.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars words..the weapons that make sense 28 Jun 2004
By A Customer
The Peace Weavers is a gripping tale for our times... all times.Set on an American airbase in England in 2003, it begins fifteen hundred years ago.Julia Jarman weaves parallel stories of sixth century Maethilde with twenty first century Hilde to create a compelling plot which explores the idea of peace as something woven, like cloth, by "word weavers".Although the novel was written on the eve of battle in Iraq, it's not about Iraq. It's about emotional intelligence; moral responsibility; the difficulty of making "right" decisions in the real world.
I suspect The Peace Weavers will be bought in batches for the reading lists of Citizenship courses. Never preachy or didactic it asks big questions but doesn't presume to tell us the answers.It inspired passionate debate in our house!
The characters,like us,have options. They make their own decisions...and mistakes. They find the world isn't always a safe, cosy place, and it isn't just the decision makers who bear the consequences. Bad things happen to good people...just like real life.
Like the characters, lots of young people today are looking for a way to influence those we've chosen as our political leaders. They know that no sane person wants war. Many teenagers from broken homes know that everybody pays when relationships break down.This story shows the similarities between, and difficulties of, the relationships between individuals and between nations.It asks, is fighting ever justified? If so, when? And if we have to fight, how do we do it?
The only weapons that make sense, as this intriguing story shows, are the ones employed by "word weavers"; talk, discussion and argument. Good relationships between people, nations and ideas are made by the right words in the right places.Peace woven by "word weavers".Great stuff!!If a book gets the audience it deserves, this will be a best seller!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely, passionate and gripping 13 Dec 2005
By A Customer
What can one person do when the world seems to have gone mad? That's the dilemma facing Julia Jarman's spirited heroine, Hilde. In her new home on a US air base, she feels completely at odds with her surroundings. Fervently against the Iraq war, she terms herself a "peace weaver", and against her story Jarman puts that of Maethilde, a sixth-century woman pushed into a political marriage. The relationship between present-day characters Hilde and Friedman, son of a US air force officer and the last boy she'd expect to be attracted to, is poignantly and sympathetically drawn. A novel with pace and intrigue, but subtle enough to please the most discerning reader.
Just one quibble. Why, when the hardback has such a striking, beautiful and eye-catching cover, has the paperback been given this pallid alternative?
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