Kid’s Book Review: Midwinter Burning

Kid’s Book Review: Midwinter Burning

About the Book and Author

From the author of ‘Horse Boy’ here is another time-slip mystery….

It’s World War Two and Alfie is evacuated to the countryside. He stays with his Great Aunt and is happy to befriend Snidge, one of the local boys.  But a mystery surrounds Snidge that seems to be connected to the Midwinter Burning, an annual ritual held at the Standing Stones, high up on the cliffs. Aunt Bell says it’s all just a bit of harmless superstition, but when Snidge goes missing, Alfie finally discovers who his friend really is – and relives the true horror of the legend…

Midwinter Burning cover
Tanya Landman author photo

Tanya studied for a degree in English Literature at Liverpool University before working in a bookshop, an arts centre and a zoo. Since 1992 Tanya has been part of Storybox Theatre working as a writer, administrator and performer – a job which has taken her to festivals all over the world.

Buffalo Soldier won the 2015 Carnegie Medal and to date she has written over 40 books for children and young adults including Horse Boy. You can find out more by visiting her website.

Book Review

it shows shows that children are fairly similar whenever and wherever they are from

This was a very interesting, twisty story. I like that it joined two very different times and shows that children are fairly similar whenever and wherever they are from.

Alfie’s story was a bit sad as we meet him as he is being evacuated because of the Second World War. He is lucky that he gets to stay with his Aunt on her farm but he feels very out of place there and is bullied by some of the local children.

Things get better for Alfie when he meets Snidge, they become friends even though they don’t speak the same language so struggle to communicate. They keep their friendship a secret as Alfie worries how others might react to Snidge being so different.

I enjoyed the last 40 pages the most, the story really got exciting and tense as it came to the end, I thought I knew how it would end but I was pleasantly surprised.

It had a good sense of dread but ended with a good happy ending.

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Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Ryan
  • Age: 11 years
  • Likes: Lego, Dragonball Z and reading
  • Dislikes: Being woken up and losing on computer games!
  • Favourite Book: Tom Gates: Dog Zombie Rules by Liz Pichon
  • Favourite Song: The Final Countdown by Queen
  • Favourite Film: Dragonball Z: Super Battle of the Gods