Tuesday 11 June 2024

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Trouble by Michael E Wills

Bygone Ages Press
9 February 2024

Clifftop Farm in Wartime #3

My thanks to the author for my copy of this book

The lives of the four children at Clifftop Farm become very difficult and dangerous when their beloved collie, Billy, gets into serious trouble.

The youngsters are compelled to devise a plan to rescue their dog. However, to get the crucial evidence they require, they must outsmart a group of criminals.

Unexpected assistance emerges from two surprising quarters: an Italian prisoner of war and a sergeant in a commando regiment stationed near to the farm. In a race against time, will the children succeed in locating the vital information needed to secure the dog's safety?

πŸ“– My Review..

This is now the third book in the trilogy of novels for young readers which explores the lives of the children who live at Clifftop Farm on the Isle of Wight. We first met this bunch of children after they had been evacuated to the farm which belongs to Jimmy and his mother, Vera and have followed their adventures in each subsequent book. This story begins in May 1941 when Jimmy and his mother have to attend magistrates court in Newport owing to an incident which has involved their collie dog, Billy. This acts as a catalyst and further adventures begin in the children’s quest to keep Billy safe.

What I have enjoyed about this trilogy is the way the place and the people come alive. The WW2 setting is explained really well and each book is interspersed with ‘true facts’ which help to put the historical details into context. The author writes well for his target audience which for these stories I would say was between 8-11 years. There is enough excitement to keep the attention of the reader and the characters are very personable which makes for an enjoyable and exciting read. I particularly enjoyed the ‘What became of them after the war’ section at the end of the book and the author’s recollections of his own wartime experiences along with the inspiration for the story about Billy.

The Clifftop Farm trilogy is a lovely introduction to WW2 historical fiction for young readers. Each book can be read as a standalone story but it makes sense to start at the beginning with Treason, Treachery and finally, Trouble.

Michael Wills was born in Newport on the Isle of Wight and attended the Priory Boys School and Carisbrooke Grammar. He trained as a teacher at St Peter’s College, Birmingham, before working at a secondary school in Kent.

Twitter @MWillsofSarum


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