As a boy, I always loved the stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome, when young people became involved in the adult world.
Somehow or other, the youngsters involved would manage to save the day, and stop the smugglers, the thieves, or whatever villainous plots the ne’er-do-wells had in mind.
There’s an air of those stories about Arctic Star, the latest novel from multi-award-winning author Tom Palmer, author of After The Warm, Armistace Runner, D-Day Dog and Over The Line, as this is a thrilling naval adventure inspired by the incredible history of the Second World War Arctic convoys.
It’s winter 1943, and teenagers Frank, Joseph and Stephen are Royal Navy recruits on their first mission at sea – making the trip described by Winston Churchill as ‘the worst journey on Earth.’
Their ship is part of an Arctic Convoy sailing to Russia to deliver supplies to the Soviets. The convoys have to navigate treacherous waters, sailing through a narrow channel between the Arctic ice pack and German bases on the Norwegian coast.
Faced with terrifying enemy attacks from both air and sea, as well as life-threatening cold and storms, will all three boys make it home again?
There’s everything you would expect in there – adventure, drama, danger and, of course, family, which all combine for a classic adventure in the spirit of my childhood favourites.
The book is presented beautifully with a larger print size, and illustrations run along the bottom of each page, making it appealing to even the most resistant of readers.
Arctic Star, by Tom Palmer, published by Barrington Stoke, £6.99.