The History of a Word 02/07/20
Flesh and Blood
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
It's during an air raid, huddled in the bomb shelter with his family, the different sounds of the war humming around him, when Bill makes his wish. He says it out loud, three times: 'I wish for a brother instead of a sister.'
It seems like his wish comes true almost immediately when his family takes in an injured boy found in a nearby bombed-out house after the raid. No-one knows who the boy is. He never speaks, and his burnt face is wrapped in bandages while it heals.
And as the weeks pass, the boy becomes stranger and stranger. He frightens Bill's sister. He even frightens Bill - and when Bill confronts the boy he discovers that wishes can sometimes go horribly, horribly wrong...
Chris Priestley is a master of sinister stories and Flesh and Blood definitely sends shivers down the spine, especially the creepy twist and ambiguous ending. In a dyslexia-friendly print, this short Second World War chiller will grab reluctant and confident readers alike. But remember: be careful what you wish for.