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Five Children on the Western Front Hardcover – 2 Oct 2014
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Saunders has created a simply brilliant book...E. Nesbit would be proud and honoured by this beautifully crafted, funny, heart-breaking story (Daily Mail)
The return of the Psammead, as superbly grumpy as ever, was magical. This book is a delight. (Katherine Rundell, Author of Rooftoppers)
This is a skillful and deeply moving piece of work: poignant, beautifully judged, not a crass pastiche but a respectful homage that recycles its source material to pack a powerful anti-war punch. Saunders's novel does what fiction does best: it focuses on individuals we care about in order to make a universal point. (Guardian)
Despite lively characterisation, and realistic ambience and expressions ("a proper caution"), the voice is unlike Nesbit's, but has a skill and charm of its own, as well as compassion and conviction (The Sunday Times)
Five Children on the Western Front is Kate Saunder's incredible, heart-wrenching sequel to E. Nesbit's Five Children and It, set on the eve of the First World War. The five children have grown up - war will change their lives for ever.See all Product description
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I love the nostalgia of being reunited with the children and Psammead but it is heartbreaking to be reminded of the devastation of the 1st World War
On a generation.
It feels particularly poignant to have read it over Christmas and to be finishing it in the year of the centenary of the Somme. Later this year I will be attending the Somme memorial at Thiepval which will remind me again of the great losses amongst a generation of brave young men and women.
Well done indeed to Kate Saunders. I am hugely confident that E. Nesbitt would have approved
Firstly there are really six children and “It” is now only known by the name Psammead. Instead of just being on new adventures the author felt the need to create a darker past for It. The idea behind the story and It helping the children as their lives were changed by war was good but there was no need to create an extra layer in a children’s book. Magical adventures were all that were needed. One of the characters compares It’s journey in this book to that of Scrooge’s and the adventures are more like Scrooge being shown his life playing out. I don’t know how much the 2004 film reflected the original story but I would not recommend Saunder’s sequel to any lover of the film.
I loved the storyline and I loved the way the author has had the children grow up. I wept a lot at parts of it. I’ve read many accounts of the First World War and lots of novels set in that period but I think this is the first one that made me feel as though I was really seeing it properly and I think that’s because of having had the children as part of my childhood.
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