Tuesday 3 March 2020

A Cake for the Gestapo Children's Fiction by Jacqueline King Review (Sent by ZunTold)

A Cake For The Gestapo is a children's novel set on Jersey in 1940, and we were sent a preview copy for review by Zuntold Publishing. Suitable for confident readers aged around 9+, as the book starts we are a couple of weeks away from the Nazi occupation, which lasted almost the entire war.

Our main characters are Joe, Spinner, Clem, Ginger and their original enemy, Percy the bully. They are a close-knit group of youngsters about to enter their teenage years with no certainties ahead.  The book travels with them for a year, as they are forced to grow up quickly, with the realities of war on their own doorstep.

A Cake for the Gestapo Children's Fiction by Jacqueline King Review (Sent by ZunTold)

The children at the beginning of the book are already far more adult than you'd like them to be. They have had to take on the role of carers, providers, housekeepers and support for their own parents. With the arrival of the German Army, they also become the resistance and defenders of their island and way of life.

The group attack the Germans in innocent, childish ways, like throwing berries and leading bees to attack them. You have the sense always that it's always a dangerous game they are playing, and they know that.

As time goes on the effects of the war and the occupation become harder on everyone. The children continue to grow up, and to grow bitter. The soldiers after several years really just want to go home to their families, and tire of the children's antics. It all takes on a more serious and sinister level.

A Cake For The Gestapo inside page text example

There are some quite 'grown up' moments, including peril and threat of severe punishments for the children, and the loss of a family member. Some of the children attempt to take revenge, and it nearly goes very badly indeed. You can feel the frustration and despair they must have felt month after month, with little contact with the outside world, imprisoned on their island.

A Cake For The Gestapo is beautifully written, exciting and dangerous, and quite heartbreaking. You find yourself immersed in the children's world of mixed up innocence and maturity, and you are holding your breath when those worlds collide, knowing that this is a real war, and bad things really are going to happen.

A Cake for the Gestapo is written by Jacqueline King and published by Zuntold Publishing. Paperback with 288 pages. Available to buy now priced £7.99rrp from all good bookshops, including online at Amazon (affiliate link below*). 

We were sent our copy of A Cake For The Gestapo by Jacqueline King for review. *Amazon links are affiliate, which means I earn a few pence as a thank you for my time if you order through my link, but you don't pay any extra.

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