A few months ago I’d never heard of the Channel Islands off the coast of France. And then, on the urging of my brother and his wife, we watched an old Masterpiece Theater series out on DVD called “Island at War,” which was a fascinating fictional account of three island families during the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II. We loved it!
And then, a few weeks later, I began to read book blog ARC reviews of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and her niece, Annie Barrows. Reading those reviews, I knew I had to get this book as soon as it was published, which I did (and then shortly after had to go out and buy a another copy to send to my mother for her birthday). It is just a treasure of a book — my favorite of the year so far! There are so many excellent reviews of it on my friends’ blogs, so I won’t write a synopsis of it here, but encourage you to visit the links below to read about the story. There’s also a link to the University of Washington bookstore blog, which had a fun post about which actors would fit the parts if it were ever to be made into a movie!
• Lesley’s Book Nook
• My Random Acts of Reading
• Read Warbler
• University of Washington bookstore
But my learning about the Channel Islands during the war didn’t stop there! (It’s that old “synchronicity” thing happening again!) At the end of July, I was sent a review copy of an adventure book for young people, Nick of Time by Ted Bell, and it, too, takes place in the Channel Islands during the war years (and in 1805 because it involves some time travel!) I’m about half-way through that book, and am enjoying it immensely. (My 6th graders would have loved it!) It’s a page-turner adventure, complete with Nazi U-Boats, pirates, lots of sailing, and lots of fun. I think of it as a combination of a Brian Jacques story and Treasure Island! Highly recommended as a read alone for those intermediate and junior high readers, or as a read aloud for the whole family, even though I’m not finished with it yet. It’s fun! Click here to listen to the author talk about Nick of Time.
So now, fascinated by this sudden encounter with a place I knew nothing about, I’m finding myself dreaming of visiting the Channel Islands some day!