James deftly evokes life in wartime Britain. Nostalgia plays its part... but the everyday reality of death and destruction is also there, sudden and terrifying.
Dangerous Skies is a beautifully-plotted novel with memorable characters and a riveting story but most of all it’s a wonderful evocation of those dreadful years of dogfights, blitz and fear of invasion.
Dennis Hamley, author of The War and Freddy and Divided Loyalties
What a great story about the horrible time of World War II in London. The author tells an amazing story of Tommy and the effects of a country under the cloud of war and the impact it has on it's people. A well written book and great read for child or adult!
Period YA isn’t usually this naturalistic, and it was interesting to read a tale about boys in the Blitz that was missing (for the most part) the usual spies and guns. As a result, it’s much more about the actual experience of childhood than most in its genre, which deeply enriches it as historical fiction.
The stakes are generally lower than in a lot of YA, but it’s by no means dull. The climax scenes are tense, the threat to the boys feels real, and even earlier on in the story we’re brought into the struggles they experience. The detailing is very in-depth and effective, particularly at the beginning, and the poetic, childlike descriptions keep up a good flow. It manages to illuminate an area of history in an accessible way and doesn’t compromise its story in the process.
This children's thriller, based on the author's own experiences in London, is about coming of age and the importance of family and friends during World War II.
It's the height of the Blitz. Night after night, waves of German bombers pound London streets, determined to bring the city to its knees.
As the air-raid sirens wail, Alan and his best mates, Tommy and Wilkie, skip school to play among the bombed-out homes of their neighbors. They are soon sucked into a gang of looters run by infamous Duggie, but the police are on their tail and catching up quickly. Even if they escape, they could still fall victim to the dangerous skies above them.