Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Time School: We Will Stand with Them by Nikki Young

Time School: We Will Stand with Them is the third book in the brilliant time-slip series by Nikki Young. Each story centres around a different period in history set against the backdrop of Hickley, a Yorkshire mill town. Four friends – Nadia, Jess, Tomma & Ash – each discover a connection to their past that teaches them something about where they’ve come from and about their own future.

In We Will Stand with Them, Ash and his father are struggling to see eye-to-eye. He makes a huge mistake and goes home drunk. His father is incredibly disappointed and, once again, tells Ash that he doesn’t know the meaning of hard work and ‘back in his day’, he wouldn’t dare behave that way. These high expectations are too much for Ash. He just can’t understand his father’s point of view or his experiences of growing up in an Indian family in Uganda and then being forced to move to England in the 1970s by a dictator who no longer wanted them in the country.

One morning, the children wake up to find there has been a power outage during the night and strange things start to happen. Their usual train doesn’t take them to school as normal – well, not in their current time anyway.  They travel back in time to the 1970s. Ash is truly in the minority – there are very few children who aren’t white and the racism is blatant and horrific. He experiences a loneliness and fear he has never known before and realises just how much he has taken acceptance for granted.

Ash and his friends discover a group of boys who have recently arrived from Uganda. Idi Amin has forced their families from their homes despite their hard work and contributions to the economy – people of Asian descent were no longer welcome. In England, some white people blame these new immigrants for job shortages and any number of other problems. They are aggressive and dangerous. It seems these new arrivals and their families don’t have anywhere they can call home.

This story is an incredibly eye-opening window to the past. The honesty of the harsh treatment of the immigrant families will not only educate children on a time period with which they may not be familiar but build empathy towards those who experience racism in any form.

The Time School books are perfect for Upper Key Stage Two and Key Stage Three History topics as well as studies for PSHE. They delve into the past in a fascinating, unique manner, encouraging children to embrace positive reactions to negative situations.     

Thank you to Nikki Young for this wonderful book!

Publishes: 1.11.21

Read my blog post about the first Time School book – We Will Remember Them. Nadia, Jess, Tomma & Ash travel back in time to November 1918 to discover what life was like at the end of the First World War.

Read my blog post about the second Time School book – We Will Honour Them. Nadia, Jess, Tomma & Ash discover what life was like for Polish families in Britain after the Second World War.

Click on the covers below to order the Time School books from Nikki Young’s website:

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