School for Skylarks
Published by Macmillan Children's Books
It is 1939. When Lyla is evacuated from her home in London to her great-aunt’s enormous house in the West Country, she expects to be lonely. She has never been to school nor had any friends, and her parents have been at the centre of a scandal. But with the house being used to accommodate an entire school of evacuated schoolgirls, there’s no time to think about her old life. Soon there is a horse in a first-floor bedroom and a ferret in Lyla’s sock drawer, hordes of schoolgirls have overrun the house, and Lyla finds out that friends come in all shapes and sizes.
“A touch Eva Ibbotson, a touch Dick King-Smith. Sam Angus’s gentle prose and eccentric characters brought tears to my eyes.
Lyla is a great protagonist. She gets things wrong. We know she’s getting things wrong, but we still root for her. Lyla is so desperate for a display of affection from her mother, it is difficult not to want a happy resolution. This kept me reading. I wanted to know how Lyla would adapt to life at Furlongs.” [Book Murmuration]
“I selected this novel hoping for an enjoyable story set in a school. School for Skylarks delivers on this but also on so much more, making it an exceptionally rewarding read. World War II in all its ramifications is explored: the evacuation of children; commandeering of accommodation; the war effort including knitting, nursing and aid parcels; shortages and hardships; and soldiers’ experiences of warfare – all this is mentioned in the book, not in any text-book manner but as part of a rich, authentic story. Other themes include loneliness, friendship, divorce, growing up and growing old, and running away from and facing up to trouble.” [The Three R’s Book Blog]
“I rarely (if ever) say this but Lyla’s tale needs to be made into a film. It just has to!” [Nayu’s Reading Corner]