Barrington Stoek, Flyboy

Title:  Flyboy
Author: Tom Palmer
Publisher:  Barrington Stoke Publishing
ISBN:  978-1-78112-535-9

A  new paperback book specially written as a childrens' book and one of a set to cover stories about famous aircraft of the RAF. it tells the story of a young Sikh boy, Jatinder, who is away at a football camp and while there is staying in an old house which is adjacent to an old airfield.  He walks across the old airfield land to get between the house and the sports grounds where the football camp is being held, and the house he stay in was the old officers mess where the pilots lived during WW1.

Now I don't want to give away the story but it is a modern day setting and how walking among a historic site can stimulate the mind.  Jatinder gets caught up in a mix of a ghost story and a dream and thus embroiled in events from WW1, and flying as the pilot of a Sopwith Camel.  The story uses a combination of three real stories from WW1.  The first concerns a Sikh pilot, Hardit Singh Malik, who overcame prejudice to become the first Sikh fighter pilot with the RFC, The second covers the actions of an American pilot, Howard Clayton Knotts, while a POW and then the third is that of a German pilot, Franz Fritsch.  All their stories are combined to create this very readable book for children.  Amongst the text there are some nicely drawn illustrations just to give that extra bit of interest to the text..

This is a story of history and one of determination to succeed, whether in war or in football.  It features the Sopwith Camel, a famous fighter used by the RFC and RAF.  Later books in this planned series will include the Spitfire from WW2 and the Typhoon from the present day.  One other addition to the book are the fold out card sections on the front and back cover.  These provide a simple cut-out card model of a Sopwith Camel, so something to build and play with as well.  I am a believer in anything that helps youngsters appreciate our history, and the ability to overcome adversity and do the right thing, whether in peace or in war.  A fine present for any young children in the family.

Tom Palmer is also 'writer in residence' for the RAF Museum at Hendon.

RRP is £5.99

Thanks to Tom Palmer for our review copy.

For more details see Tom's Wings website.