Leo’s War is an engaging story with fantastic pacing and a good mix of challenging and easy vocabulary. As an anecdotal history, the story does a great job of pulling the reader in and keeping you interested.
It’s an excellent read and I’m excited to share it with my daughter. Murphy doesn’t gloss over the horrors of war, but they are related in a way that makes a person aware that they are horrors without being over the top. She does well at keeping the content age-appropriate. As this is a subject that could easily be too heavy for young readers, I’m very impressed. I love to see Leo’s growth, as well. From the first fight in the book to the final scene, Murphy paints an amazing story of rebellion and morals that is extremely important in today’s political climate. She shows young readers that you don’t always have to be grown up to have an impact on the world.
Don’t skip this one if you don’t have kids…pick it up and learn about a part of World War II that we don’t hear much about (at least in the US) as well as read a fascinating coming of age story based on a real secret hero.
It’s 1943 and young Leo tries to protect his disabled sister Ruby as the Nazis invade Italy. After his mother is arrested, he turns to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty to save them. But he is no ordinary priest. Known as ‘The Pimpernel of the Vatican’, the Monsignor is the legendary organizer of the Rome Escape Line. Soon Leo is helping out with this secret network dedicated to saving the lives of escaped prisoners of war, partisans and Jews. But as the sinister Nazi leader Kappler closes in on the network, can Leo and his sister stay out of his evil clutches?
Patricia Murphy is the bestselling author of The Easter Rising 1916 – Molly’s Diary and Dan’s Diary – the War of Independence 1920-22 published by Poolbeg.
She has also written the prize-winning “The Chingles” trilogy of children’s Celtic fantasy novels. Patricia is also an award winning Producer/Director of documentaries including Children of Helen House, the BBC series on a children’s hospice and Born to Be Different Channel 4’s flagship series following children born with disabilities. Many of her groundbreaking programmes are about children’s rights and topics such as growing up in care, crime and the criminal justice system. She has also made a number of history programmes including Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4 and has produced and directed films for the Open University.
Patricia grew up in Dublin and is a graduate in English and History from Trinity College Dublin and of Journalism at Dublin City University. She now lives in Oxford with her husband and young daughter.