Ronnie Warren lives with his mum while his dad is away fighting. For him, World War II brings a whirlwind of events and emotions that carry him through the terror of the London Blitz to evacuation and romance in Lancashire, from adolescent misunderstandings to the bittersweetness of Victory in Europe Day, 1945. From schoolboy hero to teenage survivor, this is Ronnie s story. Bernard Ashley s great gift is to turn what seems to be low-key realism into something much stronger and more resonant. It has something to do with empathy, compassion, an undimmed thirst for decency and justice. Phillip Pullman
With the exception of the dramatic bombing and rescue that open the book, the materials with which Bernard Ashley builds this picture are generally the mundane, the small, the commonplace. However, it is of such stuff that real lives are made, and through which real emotions and experiences are felt, and this is what makes the book a success: the creation of an emotionally rich journey for Ronnie, and therefore for the reader too. Written in an easy and simple style, the book makes a perfect introduction for a younger reader looking to understand the "war at home". || 'Bernard Ashley's great gift is to turn what seems to be low-key realism into something much stronger and more resonant. It has something to do with empathy, compassion, an undimmed thirst for decency and justice' || A distillation of life during the war, it is told in small telling details. No great heroics, just ordinary people attempting to live their lives. Sparingly written and all the better for that. Engrossing. || This story is at once dramatic, gripping, amusing and poignant, as Ashley contrasts Ronnie' s own private experiences against the global issues of the war. It is often these more quiet, understated moments that are the most moving, as Ronnie tries to live a normal teenage life in a time where war is affecting everything around him. Written in a simple style, and with just the right amounts of sentiment and historical detail, this makes a wonderful book for young readers as well as older children. || Ronnie's War provides a moving insight into the impact of WW2. Bernard Ashley's evocation of the times is powerful, and his characters are very believable. Readers will strongly identify with Ronnie. His conflicting emotions towards his mother are particularly well conveyed. || As professionally told as might be expected from Ashley, and full of interest and information for young readers.