Across the Divide by Anne Booth

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‘When her mum is imprisoned for leading a pacifist protest against the local army base, Olivia must go and stay with her dad on the remote island of Lindisfarne. To make things worse, her friend Riya isn’t speaking to her and Aidan… well, Olivia really needs to sort things out with him. And who is William, the mysterious boy she has met on the island? A novel about family and friendship, but most of all about finding the courage to fight for what you believe in.’

Anne Booth has great warmth and heart in her writing and it shines through this book, making it a gentle hand-hold through the confusion of war and pacifism. Olivia’s current day story is beautifully linked with young people’s experiences of enlisting versus conscientious objection in the First World War. Perfect for topic work around war and pacifism and understanding diversity, Across the Divide belongs in every school library.

At it’s heart this is a book about accepting that people have different ideas and opinions and the strength that comes from listening and respecting each other and finding common ground. It is a touching story about listening to your heart, learning to hear both sides of an argument, and creating your own sense of right and wrong. All tough concepts that children have to face and learn for themselves. Anne’s middle grade books all contain complex ideas and strong political undertones and I love the way she presents these themes without preaching to the reader or telling them what to think. She doesn’t push her own ideologies but presents differing arguments and shows characters learning to sort through these ideas and question the world for themselves. The children who will be reading these books are growing up in a politically charged and changeable world and these books will help to arm them with the ideas and strategies to find their own paths through.  Bravo, Anne.

You can get your copy here.

Source – kindly sent for review by the publisher.

 

 

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