Robert Swindells on a book that combines the dawn of history and the struggle for peace…
Because I’m a writer, I get to set my views on all sorts of matters before thousands of young people. I know how lucky that makes me, because most people have no effective voice, especially if what they want to say doesn’t chime with the establishment view of the world.
After thirty-odd years and more than sixty books, I thought I’d covered just about everything I care about, until I read Peace Weavers by Julia Jarman. It knocked me out, because of the way it combines the two subjects I love most: the dawn of history and the struggle for peace. As I read the closing paragraph I thought, ‘why on earth didn’t this one occur to me: I wish I’d written it’.
It doesn’t matter, of course. What matters is that it was written: beautifully written, and it’s out there. Read it, and weep for a species that’s known for thousands of years how to weave peace, but has chosen to wage war. And when you’ve wept, dab your eyes and smile because here’s the hopeful bit. Though Maethilde the Peace Weaver is dust, she lives today in the heart of Hilde, and in the hearts of all those who, behind the clamour of the world, toil unnoticed at their looms.
Peace Weavers by Julia Jarman is published by Andersen Press (1 84270 295 5, £10.99 hbk) and by Scholastic Point (0 439 97771 1, £4.99 pbk). Robert Swindells’ latest book Branded (0 14 131728 0) is published by Puffin at £5.99 pbk.