This is a truly marvellous book, as you might expect from the Children’s Laureate. Set in Wartime Devon, the story mainly comprises of extracts from the 1943/44 diary of plucky young Lily Tregenza, who lived on a farm near the South Devon coast, as the Americans practise for the D-Day landings. The friction and bonds that form in the melting pot of local children and ‘townie’ evacuees, not to mention the ‘Yanks’ are brilliantly depicted.
Now, many years later, the diary entries made by his widowed Grandma Lily, are read by Michael. He learns all about how his grandma and their family had to leave their farm for months whilst the manoeuvres were rehearsed for the landings. Barbed wire was supposed to keep the locals away from the danger area, but Lily’s beloved cat Tips is unaware of this and goes missing. Lily enlists the help of two young black American soldiers to help find the adventurous cat. This meeting is to prove significant for the future. Put this book at the top of your ‘Must Buy’ list.