If you want a way to introduce younger readers to war-fiction, this is the book you’ve been looking for; Flight, on the surface, is about a love for horses, but it’s much more than just that. Instead, Flight is about educating younger readers about hope & sacrifice & courage. The themes in this story are watered-down so that they’re age-appropriate but that hasn’t resulted in the story losing any of it’s potential.
This book contains watered-down war themes, harming of animals, animals in distress & death.
This won’t be one of my best reviews as I have serious brain-fog right now due to a horrible cold so I apologise to Vanessa Harbour if I don’t do this wonderfully important story justice. I really did love this book though – it’s been a while since I read it but I haven’t forgotten how emotional the story made me; all of the characters, including the horses, felt very real to me & I could feel the determination of Jakob, Kizzy & Herr Engel thrumming within the pages.
When I was a teenager I had a friend that owned several horses so I’ve spent some time around them – & I totally love them! Horses are beautiful animals that genuinely do have a calming affect upon people, so when I found out about a World War 2 book that’s focused on saving horses I couldn’t help but buy a copy (at YALC). And the book did not disappoint. Vanessa Harbour did a fantastic job of creating the personalities of the horses within Flight – I could picture them all easily & their personalities all felt 100% real to me. When I finished the book I was desperate to spend some time around horses again. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to.
As for the plot of Flight, it wasn’t overly complex or filled with horrors, it was clearly written for middle-grade children & that was totally okay. The story moved steadily & although there were definitely moments that made me anxious, the book wasn’t one that left me hanging on the edge of my seat. Some people may see that as a criticism, but for me it definitely wasn’t – I knew the targeted age range going into this book so I didn’t expect the book to me the most heartbreaking World War 2 story I’ve ever read. What I did hope for was a story that was a good way of children starting to learn more about the history of our world, & I definitely think the book achieved that.
Flight is a heart-warming little story that encourages hope & determination within it’s young readers; it opens the door up to learning about the biggest war in our history & does so in a really good, approachable way. Flight is the type of book that can start a conversation about World War 2, & in my opinion that makes it a valuable read for all.
You can buy a copy of Flight using the links below: if you use the Amazon or Book Depository links to make a purchase I will receive a small fee at no cost to you so please consider doing so.
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository | Waterstones | Wordery