Children's and Teens' Book of the Month: The Blitz Next Door

Category: Reading

Author: Cathy Forde | Age category: 8-11

What if something such as war or a bombing blitz can be so horrific that it leaves ghostly imprints on modern society; haunting memories reverberating throughout time, spectres of war?

Pete's new house in Clydebank near Glasgow would be fine if it wasn't for the girl next door crying all the time. Except, there is no house next door. Although his house is the last on the street, Pete can hear music playing and a young girl crying. What could it be?  

This is an eerie and bittersweet adventure story that is based in modern time but reflects upon the history of the Clydebank Blitz of 1941. Mysterious and spooky, this novel brings details of the Second World War to life for eight to eleven year old readers. 


Q&A with Cathy Forde

Can you give any tips to aspiring young writers?

It’s important to get into the habit of writing regularly, even if it’s just a little bit every day. I used to keep diaries, and looking back now, I think the discipline of doing that for years helped me get into a daily routine when I became a writer.

It’s also important to make a note of any ideas that pop into your head, no matter where you are. You might forget them if you don’t.

Never write about anything you don’t care about because you will lose interest and it will show.

Read a much as you can.

Have you anything else in the pipeline?

I am working on three plays at the moment which will take me into early 2016. After that I am going to write the sequel to Fat Boy Swim. It’s overdue.

Did you enjoy the research work for this book?

I love doing research for a book; poring over archives and delving into history. True events are always more interesting and incredible than fiction, especially in times of war. I find research into individual human stories very moving. This book, which is set in Clydebank, feels quite literally very close to home. I have spoken to survivors of the actual Blitz and that was a great privilege.



We have 5 copies of The Blitz Next Door to be won! To be in with a chance of winning one, just answer this question:

The Second World War started on 1 September 1939. When did it end? 

Send your answer to Miriam Morris at Competition closes on Wednesday 30 September.  Entrants outside the UK must cover postage.



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