Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Daisy and the Unknown Warrior by Tony Bradman & illustrated by Tania Rex

Daisy and the Unknown Warrior is a powerful and important story commemorating the centenary of the burial of Britain’s Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey in November 1920.

Tony Bradman tells the story from the point of view of Daisy, an 11-year-old girl, who lost her father in the First World War. “Missing, presumed dead”, he was one of thousands of soldiers who never returned home and were lost on the battlefields. Daisy, her mother and her younger brothers never got to say good-bye. There was no funeral, no grave, no closure, leaving them upset and angry.  When Daisy hears about the Unknown Warrior, she wonders if it could be her Dad. Just maybe, he was the one found and brought back to London. Daisy will do all she can to be there on the 11th November and say good-bye.

There is such significance in reading this story now, 100 years later. Even in our own challenging times, we are reminded of those who came before and gave up so much. For our tomorrow, they gave their today. Important facts about the origin of Armistice Day and the traditions that are now so familiar are explained in language children will be able to easily understand. Details about the impact of the war on the women and children left behind are clearly portrayed through Daisy and her mother’s daily life: her mother’s job then loss of that job when the men returned, the children’s school and clothing, and the struggles to make ends meet jump off the page into the reader’s imagination. We are there, in 1920 London, with Daisy and her family. The Historical Note at the end of the book takes readers’ knowledge even further.

Daisy and the Unknown Warrior gives a glimpse of a significant moment in history. It will be very welcome in schools, particularly in Lower Key Stage Two. Published by Barrington Stoke, this beautiful story has a reading age of 8 but an interest level of 8+. It will find a place right through to secondary schools. Tony Bradman has not shied away from challenging, age-appropriate themes and is respectful of his readers’ ability to deal with issues of war, loss and grief. This book is sure to help more reluctant readers find their reading spark and get lost in this engaging story, building their confidence with manageable chapters and text. It will be published with dyslexia friendly font and tinted pages to ensure everyone can access the important message.

Thank you to Barrington Stoke for this beautiful book!

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

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