I am trying to write more reviews about fictional stories aimed at the older kids (so more for kids in the KS3 years / tweens / teens), there just does not seem to be as many reviews for this age range and I often want to read a review myself and just can never find one.
Blitzcat was a book that I saw recommended on a KS3 reading list (I am going through a lot of those at the moment) and I was immediately interested in it because it follows a cat through WWII, which I thought could be an interesting perspective. And it just so happens our local library had a copy.
I really enjoyed this story. I thought the whole concept of this cat’s journey, trying to find its person and then ending up in different situations and so telling different short stories of the war was brilliant. The detail and the way it conveys what it must have been like to live through this period, filled with so many emotions and thoughts was very moving. However having said that I definitely think it is more suited for upper KS3 kids because of some of the content. There are some swear words in it and there are a few scenes where sex is talked about. It is discussed in the context of war so young couples on a hill – ” writhing, heaving bundles”, “gasps of passion”. So although it is not an explicit sex scene it is very clear to the reader that these couples are meeting up for sex. And then further on in the book there is a married women who sleeps with the officer who is staying in her house and shortly afterwards receives a letter from her husband who is flying planes on bombing raids. Very real events and themes of WWII but it is for this reason I am actually holding it back from my daughter (at least for now) because she is still very innocent and does not actually want to read books that deal with people cheating on their spouses.
Having said that there are lots of interesting war themes this book covers. Like a returning soldier who is just a very different person to the one who left, what it would have been like having your home bombed, rations and living in the trenches.
I do think it is a really well written book. I think the stories and the characters that the cat meets on its journey clearly paint an accurate picture of life during WWII. But for us, for now the sex side means we are going to leave it off our reading list for a year or two.