Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Time School: We Will Remember Them by Nikki Young

Time School author, Nikki Young, has created a fantastic comprehension guide to accompany Time School: We Will Remember Them. With chapter by chapter questions and extension tasks, it pulls out the key elements of this brilliant story for children and teachers.

Click here to download it free from her website.

Where do you come from? Who came before us? These powerful questions about heritage and the rich history of our homes, schools and towns launch readers into the first fantastic story in the Time School series. Four friends have just started Year 7 in a Yorkshire mill town near Leeds. Surrounded by soot-stained Yorkshire stone Victorian buildings, Jess, Nadia, Ash and Tomma don’t think very much about their roots and those who walked the corridors of their school before them. Then one day, everything changes. A power cut makes them late for school and in a mad rush to board the train, they find themselves all alone in a strange carriage. When they arrive at school, the Yorkshire stone is the colour of golden sand, boys and girls are on separate playgrounds and the school uniform is not at all like the one they are wearing. Could they have travelled back in time?

Alarm bells ring as they hear talk of war and realise the unusual train has taken them to November 1918. It’s the same school in the same town but so much is different. The impact of the First World War is all around them and the effect on the local people is clear. It’s not just the soldiers in Europe who have their lives changed by war. Jess and her friends realise the importance of remembrance and that the soldiers on the war memorial are so much more than just names.

This fascinating story takes the reader back in time with the children. Time School: We Will Remember Them would be the perfect accompaniment to a First World War topic in Upper Key Stage Two with many opportunities for cross-curricular Reading and Writing lessons. This book could be used to start an investigation into life in Yorkshire during the war. Children could choose one aspect to investigate further and even write their own Time School adventure.

This story captured our interest because it could have been set in our very own village – Farsley, near Leeds. With a woollen mill that produced uniforms for soldiers during the First World War, an industrial past, Yorkshire stone and Victorian buildings, it felt very close to home. We’ll look very carefully next time we go to New Pudsey station to see if there’s an old steam carriage at the back of the train!

Our school field was an airfield during the war. One hundred years later, it was recognised by the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust with a plaque. The unveiling ceremony, that was planned and presented by the Year 6 children, was incredibly moving as they made real connections to the school’s heritage. We were also invited to be the launch school for the Remember RAF100 schools programme for the centenary of the formation of the RAF. We had an incredible day. You can read more about the school’s First World War connections here.

Thank you to NetGalley and Hashtag Press for this fantastic book which was published in March 2020.

Click on the covers below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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