Today I am delighted to welcome author Nikki Young to Tales Before Bedtime to talk about her latest children’s book, Time School : We Will Honour Them.
Time School: We Will Honour Them is the second book in the time-travelling adventure series aimed at children in years 5-8. It follows the release of Time School: We Will Remember Them on World Book Day earlier this year and works as a standalone title. Each of the four main
characters in the friendship group get their chance to tell their own story in each book. This is Nadia’s story.
Nadia Kaminski knows very little about her Polish grandfather so how is she going to write a speech about him to read at his funeral? She’s never really considered her Polish roots, so a trip back in time to time (to the end of the Second World War) and an encounter with Marcel, a Polish refugee, might be just what Nadia needs.
Along with fellow time-travellers, Jess, Tomma and Ash, this is the group’s second experience of Hickley School in the past, and a chance to discover the struggles of those who found themselves stranded in a country that wasn’t their own.
It’s time to board the train for another exciting journey back in time.
Now it’s time to hear from Nikki herself as she tells us a little more about the Time School series and what prompted her to write it.
‘A few years ago, I received a booklet celebrating the centenary of my old school that went back over the history of the school since it had first opened. It really got me thinking about all the children who had been there over the course of those 100 years as well as all that had gone on in the world during that time. I also thought how amazing it would be if you could go back in time to witness some of the events of the past for yourself. I gave that opportunity to four characters: Jess, Nadia, Ash and Tomma and the series grew from there.
My stories explore this concept, as the children uncover things about their past they had no idea about, but that have a direct reflection on their current lives. This helps them understand more about themselves, shaping who they are as young people trying to make sense of the world.
I wanted to pick four points in time that extended across their first year at secondary school, so I started with the First World War, specifically the end of it – November 1918. The story would not only examine what it was like to live and go to school in the early 1900s, it would also look into what it was like to live through a war.
We often hear about life in the trenches during WW1, but not so much about the people at home – on the home front, as it’s called. They were worrying about their loved ones, struggling to feed their families due to food shortages and for the women, it meant stepping up to take over the jobs of the men. There was lots going on, but at the same time, life went on pretty much as normal, because there wasn’t really anything else you could do except get on with it.
Then, for Book 2, the children go back in time to just after the Second World War, when there was peace, but times were still very hard because the war had taken so much out of people: they were still on rations, the country was in ruins, jobs were scarce. This was also a very tense time, because Europe had been divided and the Western half of Europe worried that there might be another war, this time with Russia. There was one country in particular that was caught up in the middle of all this and that was Poland.
Time School: We Will Honour Them centres around Polish refugee, Marcel and his struggles to find acceptance in a country that welcomed him in during the war, but doesn’t seem to want him now it’s over.
Throughout the series, the Time School stories give the four children a chance to experience a slice of life – both at school and away from it – during important times in our history, times that you might not necessarily know about.’
Here is a short Extract from Time School: We Will Honour Them.
What Nadia couldn’t help but notice, whilst on their walk up to school that morning, was how quiet it was. She thought most of the pupils must have been thawing in the warmth of their form rooms already. A small part of her was still clinging on to the hope it was just a normal day that just happened to have a freakish change of weather to it and that there would be other kids, like them, turning up late. She knew deep down that it was unlikely, and hopes of a normal day were fading fast. Just to confirm things further, when they got to school and looked at the collection of buildings, Nadia saw straight away there was no sports centre or science block. She groaned. Jess gasped and Tomma shook his head as he observed the scene before them. “Woah,” Ash said. “Would you look at that! Anyone like to hazard a guess as to what year this is then?”
About the author
Nikki Young is a freelance writer, copywriter and author. She lives in Kent with her husband, three children, a crazy Boston Terrier dog called, Barnie and a rescue cat named, Oscar. She is the author of ‘The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants‘ an adventure story aimed at seven to nine year-olds and reluctant readers.
Nikki also writes health-related articles, reviews and recipes on her blog, ‘A free-from life’. This blog was a finalist in the 2017 UK Allergy Blog Awards, recognising its provision of health information for food allergy and intolerance sufferers.
Her background is in nutrition, so maintaining a healthy, happy family is extremely important to her. Having a son and a husband, both with different dietary needs has been a challenge and one which has tested her knowledge.
As well as writing middle grade and young adult fiction, Nikki runs Storymakers, a creative writing club for children, which provides weekly courses and holiday workshops for children aged seven and above.
You can follow Nikki on Twitter at nikki_cyoung
You can follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/Nikkiyoungwriter
To find out more about this series and Nikki herself visit her website: www.nikkiyoung.co.uk