Valentine Joe

Publisher: Chicken House

Review

Rose and her grandfather travel to Ypres in Belgium to find the grave of her grandfather's uncle, who died in World War One. In the cemetery Rose sees a grave which strikes a nerve: it belongs to V.J. Strudwick - Valentine Joe. He was one of the youngest boys to have died in the war. Back in the hotel, Rose starts to see some mysterious things...could that really be a soldier standing in the square outside the hotel?

Based on a true story, Valentine Joe offers an intriguing insight into the war, but also provides a window into Rose's relationship with her family. Valentine Joe cleverly presents Rose's own loss of her father next to the pain and loss of those that died in World War One. As Rose learns more about Joe and the day-to-day details of the war, she also learns to understand her own grief better. The dreamy and self-reflective Rose will particularly appeal to girls aged 10-15.

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