Martin Conway comes from a family filled with heroes and disgraces. His grandfather was a statesman who worked at the US Embassy in London during WWII. His father is an alcoholic who left his family. His sister is an overachieving Ivy League graduate. And Martin? Martin is stuck in between--floundering.
But during the summer after 7th grade, Martin meets a boy who will change his life forever. Jimmy Harker appears one night with a deceptively simple question: Will you help?
Where did this boy come from, with his strange accent and urgent request? Is he a dream? It's the most vivid dream Martin's ever had. And he meets Jimmy again and again--but how can his dreams be set in London during the Blitz? How can he see his own grandather, standing outside the Embassy? How can he wake up with a head full of people and facts and events that he certainly didn't know when he went to sleep--but which turn out to be verifiably real?
The people and the scenes Martin witnesses have a profound effect on him. They become almost more real to him than his waking companions. And he begins to believe that maybe he can help Jimmy. Or maybe that he must help Jimmy, precisely because all logic and reason argue against it.
This is a truly remarkable and deeply affecting novel about fathers and sons, heroes and scapegoats. About finding a way to live with faith and honor and integrity. And about having an answer to the question: What did you do to help?
The action took a little too long to pick up, it wasn't until about 1/3 of the way through the book that Martin had his first time travel experience. However, the reader who gets through this long build up will find him or herself truly engaged in Martin's life and will be ready to root for him as he takes on his personal demons and rights some historical wrongs. Recommended for teen readers aged about 11-15 who enjoy historical fiction and are mature enough to enjoy a book that poses more questions than it gives answers. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Booklist - Jennifer Mattson
Ambitious yet unwieldy, this may work best as a fictional supplement in history classrooms, where it will open discussions of both the slippery qualities of historical truth ("Who decides what the real history of a time is?") and the nature of genuine heroism.
The history and ethics are fascinating but are treated to a shallow ending, and though the characters are compelling, the dropped threads will make readers tune out.
School Library Journal
Evocative descriptions and elegant phrasings make the writing most enjoyable, and because the author uses a first-person voice, the story seems very personal, and readers will feel Martins turmoil and angst.
Bloor... neatly ties up all the strands in this tale of historical intrigue and wrongs righted. Martin's determination and the vivid scenes of London during the Blitz are sure to appeal.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Larry Rose London Calling This story is a great book. I believe the action starts at the perfect time and everything fits in well. I do believe the air-raid attacks are thrilling and frighting. This story of Martin is great beyond my expectations, and will let you shed a... Read More
Rated of 5
by Sana Wouldn't Recommend ... I wouldn't recommend this book. In the beginning it was interesting but in the middle , it got me bored. I had to read it for school, for a book report.
Rated of 5
by Jeremy Huley Ok It is boring in the beginning but gets better (I had to read it for school). I wouldn't recommend it!
Rated of 5
by Unique Preston Great job . The best book I have ever read . I can read it over and over and not get bored with it.
Rated of 5
by Sara George London calling BORING! Worst book I have ever read
Rated of 5
by camppruitt great read for dads - great read for sons A happenstance choice for me, this book resonated because I'm a grandson, a son, a dad and a grandfather! at age 52 I can relate to every relationship in the book!
What a great reminder of the angst young teens experience - and, which we carry... Read More
Edward Bloor is the author of
Tangerine (1997), Crusader
(1999), Story Time (2004)
London Calling (2006) and
was an ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young
Adults, a Horn Book Fanfare Selection,
and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book.
Formerly, an English teacher in Florida
public high schools, he became a senior
editor at Harcourt Brace School
Publishers in 1986. He was born in
Trenton, New Jersey in 1950, educated at
Fordham University and is married to
Pamela Dixon, a teacher. They have a
daughter and son, and live in Winter
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