Nine-year-old Michael, a biracial child, is growing up in post-WWII London with his French mother. He knows that his father was killed in the war. Other than that, Leroy knows very little about him, except that his father was raised by two aunts. Auntie Snowdrop becomes the link between Michael’s present and past when she gives him an unexpected gift filled with difficult truths—a gift that redraws the map of his life.
This juvenile novel is loosely based on the life of Lieutenant Walter Tull, “the only black officer to serve in the British Army in the First World War.” Sensitively and age-appropriately, Michael Morpurgo brings to life the realities of two world wars, and explores how racism shaped military policy in regard to the distribution of medals, honoring soldiers of “pure European descent,” and ignoring black soldiers who had fought valiantly. Ages 10 and up. (HarperCollins/Feiwel and Friends)