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Regular readers will know how much I rate the writing of David Almond. He is, without exception, brilliant. I got the opportunity to review his latest book, War is Over, thanks to Netgalley, and it did not disappoint.

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Beautifully illustrated by David Litchfield, it has been produced to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day in 1918. The book is to be published on November 1st 2018, but is available for pre-order now.

This book tells the story of John, from John’s perspective.  John is just a little boy, and his safe, beautiful world has been turned upside down by war. His mother works in a munitions factory, and his father is away at the front. John doesn’t understand why anyone would want to make a bomb and he struggles to make sense of what his mum and his teacher tell him.

He sympathises with the uncle of one of his school mates, a pacifist who refuses to be silenced, even though he is hounded out of the town and vilified by everyone in society. A trip to the munitions factory, organised by his teacher, leaves John even more bewildered.

This is a book that lays out emotion and explores its complexities. It’s thoughtful and lyrically beautiful and the words work perfectly with the illustrations.