Josie Under Fire by Ann Turnbull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have a lot of love for the Historical House series – a group of novels focused around a specific house in London. The books are written by some stunning authors: Adele Geras, Ann Turnbull and Linda Newbery, and very much worth a look. It’s a massively underrated series and I really enjoyed this article this article written by Adele Geras which went ‘behind the scenes’ of the series and elaborated on where it came from.
Josie Under Fire is lovely. Set in the turbulent time of World War Two, Josie’s gone to live with her cousin Edith whilst her mother cares for her invalided grandmother. Josie’s hoping that this could be a fresh start in a place where nobody knows the truth about her brother, a Conscientious Objector.
Turnbull’s created such a gloriously believable character in Josie. She’s vividly realistic and realistically flawed. But you root for her. You do. It’s hard not to be moved by Josie’s journey in this book – particularly when she realises that bravery comes in many forms. There’s no mistake with this title having parallels with the phrase ‘courage under fire’.
I massively recommend this series for the under twelves – and girls in particular. These are books where girls are brave and scared and strong and weak – and real. I love them. And I love Josie.