Whistling in the Dark

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
783 0
Whistling in the Dark
Age Range
8+
Release Date
November 14, 2017
ISBN
0763690724
Buy This Book
      
Liverpool, 1940: Thirteen-year-old Joan's home is under constant threat from the Nazis' terrifying nightly air raids. Everyone is on edge, faced with strict food rationing, curfews, and blackouts. It’s not an easy time to be a teenager. Joan’s one solace is going to the movies with her best friend, the unflappable Doreen, but when the bombings intensify, even that becomes too dangerous. There’s also the matter of a strange man who Joan sees lurking near their home. Who is he, and why does he think Joan can help him? Even more unsettling, as the Blitz worsens, Joan and her friends make a discovery down by the old mill that will tear the whole community apart. In the hardship of war, everything seems to be rationed — except true friendship.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Phenomenal details of everyday life.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Joan is a young teen living in Liverpool, England in 1941. The Germans seem to bomb sections of the city every night, and the other privations of war time are part of every day life. Joan's father, a wireless operator on an oil tanker, was killed when Joan was very young, but the family has gone on without him. Older sister Audrey is dating Dai, a young man in the service, brother Brian is helpful but somewhat annoying, and younger sister Judy needs a lot of care. Joan's mother is dating an "oily" soldier who is in charge of providing food for the local soldiers. Joan goes on lots of adventures with her friend Doreen, whose father is fairly well-to-do and well connected. When a Polish refugee, Ania, joins Joan's school, some of the other students are not particularly kind. When a mysterious man who has been hanging around Joan's neighborhood identifies himself, Joan's family gets pulled into some intrigue involving him, and there is also some black marketeering being run by some surprising individuals.
Good Points
Ms. Hughes was born in 1927, so she is able to include many details of this time period that people who had not lived through it would never know. Audrey attempting to use gravy brown for leg makeup was a detail that blew me away! While I am not a huge fan of "home front" stories, there is a 7th grade unit on historical fiction from 1940-1980, and this will be perfect for that. Also, Liverpool is one of my favorite cities (and somewhere I don't get lost easily), and I've been enjoying some of the BBC period dramas such as Home Fires and My Mother and Other Strangers, so I will definitely be recommending this.

This is a bit light on plot, but the details of daily life more than make up for it. Hughes does a good job of showing that war is horrible, but often somehow boring. It's not a thought that young readers might have, but is an important one to consider. Whistling in the Dark is a great choice for readers who need to read a book about WWII and aren't quite up to the horrors of fighting or Holocaust camps.Hughes' Hero on a Bicycle does very well in my library, so I'm glad to purchase this one. I will also be looking into Ms. Hughes' work-- she seems much more well known in the UK.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In a powerful novel in verse, an award-winning author offers...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Anger, hurt, and rejection threaten Joshua’s ability to save the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bernita, a teenager from a prominent South American family, knows...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
How do you fix a computer glitch that disappears before...
Hope in the Mail: Reflections on Writing and Life
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Part writing guide and part memoir, this inspiring book from...
Daniela and the Pirate Girls
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Who hasn’t heard of the legendary vessel, the Black Croc!...
Child of Galaxies
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Your body was made from the stuff of the stars,...
Shy Ones
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
He's not the type to stand out. In fact, unless...
You Brought Me the Ocean
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The voices that shaped LGBTQ Young Adult literature, Lambda Award-Winning...
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
 
2.0
 
0.0 (0)
In an idyllic community of wealthy California families, new teacher...
Slamdown Town
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ollie and his older brother, Hollis, have wrestling in their...
The Speed of Starlight: An Exploration of Physics, Sound, Light, and Space
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A contemporary exploration of physics, light, and sound told through...

Latest Member Reviews

Crave
 
4.3
"After the death of her parents, Grace comes to an Alaskan boarding school. Once there, she senses something is 'off'..."
You Brought Me the Ocean
 
3.7
"YOU BROUGHT ME THE OCEAN is a graphic novel of the origin story for Aqualad. Jake is 17 and living..."
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
 
2.0
" I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth centers around a..."
Pumpkinheads
 
4.7
"I am pretty new to graphic novels so when I won a copy of 'Pumpkin Heads' on GoodReads I was..."
Burn
 
3.7
"BURN imagines a world that is just like ours, except that dragons exist. Dragons have been around for longer than..."
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
 
5.0
"WONDER WOMAN: TEMPEST TOSSED is a fantastic new story featuring Diana coming into her own. She has been raised among..."
The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight, #2)
 
5.0
"THE ARCHER AT DAWN is a fantastic sequel in the THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT trilogy. This second book picks up..."
My Calamity Jane
 
5.0
"What worked: This is a fun paranormal twist on historical figures set in the Wild West of 1876. I loved..."
Where Dreams Descend
 
5.0
"FEEDBACK This book was everything I wanted and more. It begins with Kallia and her performance. It quickly descends into..."
The State of Us
 
5.0
"THE STATE OF US is a really fantastic YA contemporary romance that follows the children of two political rivals. Dean's..."
Live Like Legends
 
5.0
"LIVE LIKE LEGENDS is an absolutely fantastic YA fantasy romance. We follow Kalista, who is a princess born to be..."
Blood Countess (Lady Slayers)
 
4.3
"Visually, this book is a gorgeous work of art, splattered with blood from cover to cover. For those familiar with..."
Like Sisters on the Homefront
 
4.7
"Top 3 reasons to read LIKE SISTERS ON THE HOMEFRONT: 1.) The characters- Gayle, a NYC girl sent to..."
Daphne and Velma: The Vanishing Girl
 
3.7
"Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley are opposites. Daphne is popular, traditionally pretty, and sociable. Velma prefers books and information to..."
Felix Ever After
 
5.0
"Felix has never been in love, but he wants to be. He wants the experience of opening your heart, having..."
The Sullivan Sisters
 
5.0
"Eileen, Claire, and Murphy Sullivan used to be close. They had their special traditions, their shared laughs, and their shared..."
The Summer of Impossibilities
 
3.7
"THE SUMMER OF IMPOSSIBILITIES is a YA contemporary about friendship in the vein of THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS...."
Tarnished Are the Stars
 
4.3
"FEEDBACK I actually really enjoyed this story. The beginning was a little confusing because there wasn’t too much explanation of..."
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3
"San Solano, Texas is not only known for its Southern charm but also gruesome murders that took place fifty..."
Wicked Saints: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy, #1)
 
5.0
"FEEDBACK When I first heard about this book I thought it was interesting. Then I saw all the hype..."