JUST HENRY by Michelle Magorian


Age Range: 10 - 15
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Henry lives with his mother, stepfather, Gran and little sister. He hates school and his stepfather, but he loves the memory of his hero dad, lost in the war. It’s England 1949, a time of pinched poverty and low expectations, but Henry finds release in the cinema. Then things begin to change. A splendid teacher sets Henry to study film of 50 years before—and teams him with two other boys he loathes. Henry begins to see how Gran, his father’s mother, persecutes his mum. An extraordinary local dame (there is no better word for her), Mrs. Beaumont finds a way to assist Henry and all his mates, as well as to gently open Henry’s eyes to his own prejudices. The camera Mrs. Beaumont gives him enables Henry to discover a family secret that shocks him and soon endangers him and his friends. Clearly drawn heroes and villains, a wildly engaging cast of young people and older ones and all sorts of fascinating bits about movies, cameras, music and life in postwar England all make up this sparkling tale. (Historical fiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4052-2757-5
Page count: 720pp
Publisher: Egmont/Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2009


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