Wonderful and Engrossing Story of Imagination and Intrigue
By Whitney Easton
By Whitney Easton
I came across this book as a recommendation from a friend and I was instantly sucked in to the story line. This is a book for the early teen or adolescent, but is also enjoyable reading for adults. The writing style and ease of reading is reminiscent of the Harry Potter series, but there are not so many detailed names and characters to remember. This would be a great gift for a teen/preteen, or could be an enjoyable beach read for a lighthearted and imaginative adult. Bravo, Mr. Grogan, for writing a story that can teach children about an important time in our history, as well as entertain them.
By Ebienic on February 12, 2014
The series follows a boy named Christopher Finch (Kit), and his group of friends, who work undercover for Winston Churchill during World War II. Christopher is the son of a British diplomat and an American journalist, with a gift for languages. Because of his privileged upbringing and world exposure to different countries and languages due to his father’s assignments, he has a set of skills that most do not, particularly not most 12 year old boys, his age during this installment in the series. Of course, his knowledge of multiple languages proves quite the asset for a kid who is essentially assigned spy duties.I loved the time period setting of the series and the author’s ability to write simply enough that most tweens and teens could understand but still engage adults as well. I was a little concerned that some of the history retold in stories by Kit’s parents and grandparents might get a little dull for some younger readers, but am hopeful that some of it will be absorbed anyway by those who might find a class lecture on the dull side. I anticipate that many of the characters introduced in this book will be explored more in the books to follow in the series, as if that is the case this book did an excellent job of setting up a back-story while still allowing for some adventure for the main character, Kit, who managed to navigate secret tunnels, fly a Spitfire, and escape a Zeppelin, among other adventures. I am also looking for more description and interaction with real historical figure, Sir Winston Churchill, as he is a fascinating and complicated man anyway, but his interaction with children I think would be particularly entertaining.On the whole I found this an interesting read, and am looking forward to more in the series.
By Michelle Lofton on February 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As a homeschooling parent I absolutely love introducing my kids to good historical fiction instead of reading dull textbooks. Churchill’s Children, The Phantom Zeppelin definitely fits the bill for our studies of World War II. I learned more about World War II by reading this book than I can ever remember learning in school. A.R. Grogan has added a lot of history in this novel, but it is not dull or flat. Readers learn about what is happening in London in 1939 through stories told by Christopher’s grandfather, the Sergeant Major; by Christopher’s mother; and through narration that flows seamlessly throughout the novel.The author really brings the characters, the settings, and the story line to life. I felt as if I was actually there– a fly on the wall– as I followed the adventures, struggles, heartbreak, and successes of Christopher Finch. While reading this book, I laughed, I cried, I gasped, I cringed, and I became emotionally attached to the characters. The dialogue flowed easily and naturally, and was believable. I didn’t want the book to end. I felt as if I were saying goodbye to good friends.At the end of the novel, there is mention that this if the first book in a series about the exploits of Christopher Finch and the other “Churchill Children” during World War II. Continuing in chronological order, the next book slated to be published is 1940- The Battle of Britain. I look forward to reading the series with my children. If they are as well written as this first book, I could envision using them as the backbone of a study of World War II. The book’s target market seems to be the young teen/middle-school age group. However, my high-school age children were also engrossed in the story.
Historical ficiton about a young spy
By atomskeater on February 27, 2014
Christopher is an inquisitive young boy. Although he is sickly from childhood illness, he’s smart and well-learned thanks to his family traveling frequently. As World War II gears up and under strange circumstances, Christopher becomes a spy and carries out various tasks for Winston Churchill. The story mainly covers the adventures of Christoper and children who are from similarly wealthy families. Despite being shielded from some of the harshness of the world, the kids were rather sharp and affected by the struggles the war brought on.The cover features the titular zeppelin soaring over a picturesque seaside cliff, a simple but nice cover. The formatting is well done, although the paragraphs are not indented (rather there’s an extra bit of space between them), but this seems to be becoming more common in ebooks and it doesn’t affect readability.The writing is smooth and has a good sense of balance between description and moving things along. The peculiarities of various characters and the places they live in are vividly described, making it easy to form images in one’s head. The characters are built up well with interesting back-stories and varied personalities. It’s easy to get absorbed while reading this.Churchill’s Children was a fun, imaginative read that was good for children and adults alike. I think for kids especially it’s a nice way to learn a little bit of history.