Book review: Time Train to the Blitz by Sophie McKenzie

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A fast-track thriller to excitement, danger and a city suffering the ravages of war...

Sophie McKenzie’s pulsating new time travel adventure for young readers is a breathtaking, top speed train journey into the heart of London during the terrifying Blitz of the Second World War.

And it’s just waiting to whisk you away...

When Scarlett, Joe and their dog Pippy wander into the woods at their local park, they discover a line of fluorescent track and an eerie atmosphere of ‘something waiting to happen.’

And when it does, they can’t believe their eyes...a weird, glowing train with no driver, a single compartment and a set of old-fashioned clothes with their names on.

Before they know it, they are travelling back to 1941 and discovering that their mission is to rescue a 10-year-old boy called Alfie Suggs who is destined to die saving his grandmother from a bomb.

Finding Alfie is no problem but saving his life is going to be a very different matter...

For a start, Alfie doesn’t believe a word they say, the city is in the middle of an air raid, a fierce dog is on the loose and they are up against the clock.

In fact, it turns out they have just half-an-hour to get Alfie out of his house where an unexploded bomb is about to rip it apart.

Can they accomplish their mission impossible and will they ever be able to return to the future?

McKenzie transports her age eight plus readers to a world of adventure and fantasy but successfully tempers the make-believe with some harsh historical facts and thought-provoking realism.

And with an all-action plot, cliffhangers at every turn of the page, an edge-of-the-seat race against time and the thrill of travelling to days gone by, Time Train to the Blitz is simply past perfect...

(Usborne, paperback, £4.99)