Arctic Star is a real cracker of a read. It tells the story of 3 friends serving in the Royal Navy during WW2 on the Arctic convoys between the UK and Russia.
As you might expect if you have read some of Tom Palmer’s other stories, he pulls no punches with this book – it’s not a ‘Boy’s Own’-style story, it’s an age-appropriate ‘warts and all’ read that provides a realistic account of what life was truly like sailing in horrific conditions and living in constant fear of being bombed and torpedoed. Friends are lost, ships are sunk, survivors have to deal with the tremendous mental and physical stress caused by their experiences, all of which is captured so convincingly. It’s a gripping, impactful story, which succinctly highlights the confusion caused by battle. The book would work particularly well within a UK Key Stage 2 WW2 module, but equally it’s a fantastic read for young history and military buffs. There’s no doubt that the superb storytelling will stay with readers long after they’ve closed the stunning cover.
Author: Tom Palmer
Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole
Publisher: Barrington Stoke