Across the Divide

By Anne Booth

Young Quills reviews

Across the DivideHannah C.’s review
I enjoyed reading the book, as it was interesting how Anne Booth combined current political issues with those around WW1; as well as seeing the young people handling and discussing the issues in a diplomatic way, but those who also don't handle them in a respectful manner by using physical and mental abuse as a way of getting their point across. Most of the book being set in Lindisfarne.

Throughout the book you meet the main characters: Olivia, a young girl that is struggling to make sense of all the protests her pacifist mother is leading, whilst also trying to keep peace between her peers. Then you meet Aidan, a Quaker boy, who repeatedly gets berated by his fellow classmates when he expresses his disapproving opinion on the subject of having an in school based army cadets. Eventually whilst Olivia is temporarily living with her father on Lindisfarne she meets William a 17-year-old boy who is living in the past, the early 20th century, during WW1, whilst Olivia is living in the present, the two are still somehow able to communicate. William is being conscripted and is conflicted on whether he wants to actively fight in the war or passively, at the risk of being disowned by his family.

During the book you can see the struggles of choosing what role to adopt in the war, so you can be honoured instead of being called a coward, also you can see how past issues can still affect life today, with people still having unfair and crude opinions, with them neglecting to adopt a diplomatic way of discussion and debate.

The fact that the plot was based around politics interested me more than other topics, as politics now plays a big role in the way the world goes round and how people react to different situations. All through the book it makes you seriously think about how one person's opinion can drastically change things, for instance in the book the conflicting opinions of two or more students caused a massive uproar of discussion, therefore making the story a thing not to be taken light-heartedly. The thing that stood out to me the most was the way that people try to get their opinions across, not caring how they conduct themselves or structure their opinions, some verbally and physically attacking others because of their contrasting opinions.

Finally, I would recommend this to other pupils as Booth has managed to perfectly balance the educating of past and current affairs, all the while making it engaging and understandable to a wide variety of audiences.

Olivia C.’s review
My overall review of the book is that the girl (Olivia) deserved better to start with. Plus, it’s quite the emotional rollercoaster. I mean she is stuck between an argument that could possibly divide her family in two. However, when she met the young boy he helped her decide what to do. Then again if her mother wasn’t imprisoned in the first place for protesting, Olivia wouldn’t have been sent to Lindisfarne to live with her dad until her grandparents get back and she wouldn’t have been put into an awkward situation and have to try to figure it out all by herself.

Finally, I think her family should have been more considerate of the effect on Olivia when she had to go to stay with her mum in the start.

Sukraj’s review
What happens? Did you find the plot interesting?
I did find the plot interesting because I am not sure myself what happens to Olivia when her mum gets arrested for protesting. If you start and do not read all of it and read only to the plot, you will not actually understand the story.

Who are the main characters?
The main characters are Johnny and his mum, Olivia, her Mum, Dad, Aiden, and William.

Who was your favourite character? Why?
My favourite character is William because he helps her to decide where to go.

What was your favourite part? Why?
My favourite part is when Olivia is back with her dad, because her dad lives in Lindisfarne and there she meets the young man who helped her to make her decision.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I would recommend this to any friend because it would help them to make their decisions in life.

Star rating ★★★★★

Isabella’s review
In my opinion, Across the Divide is written well with a clever female protagonist and a slightly hard to follow yet intriguing plotline. I think many of the relationships in the story are very relatable, so I think it makes Olivia’s point of view very believable and you feel definite sympathy for her. I thought that the fact she can travel through time is a bit annoying because it almost eliminated the relatability which I was really enjoying. So in total I give this book 4/5 stars because though a few factors were less convincing, it was an enjoyable, quick, heart-warming read.

Star rating ★★★★

Harleen’s review
What happens? Did you find the plot interesting?
Olivia had no choice but to go to her Dad's but she was angry and upset because it was too far away and she couldn't be with her friends.

Who are the main characters?
The main characters are Olivia, Mum, Dad, Gran, and Grandad.

Who was your favourite character? Why?
My favourite character is Olivia because she went travelling around to her Mum's then her Dad's.

What was your favourite part? Why?
My favourite part of the story was when she had to go to her Dad's but she didn't want to go because it was too far away.

Claudia F.’s review
My favourite character was Olivia because she was kind and relatable. My least favourite character was Chloe because she didn’t think how her actions would affect others. I learnt about Lindisfarne from the book. I couldn’t tell when it was set. The plot was interesting, heart-warming, and thought-provoking. My problem with the book was it wasn’t historical enough. She would go on for four chapters (or so) about how she needs to fix her friendship with her friend, has a two-minute conversation with this guy from the past, then talks to her dad about her mum. I still enjoyed the book but the reason I didn’t give it 5 stars was because there should be more history. I would recommend it.

Star rating ★★★★

Christina's review
I found Aiden interesting because just because his family were pacifist, he is bullied in school because his family was against war. I also found it interesting that he fought back not the first time but after many times of getting harassed.

I learnt that men from the age 18, or even younger, had to go to war.

I thought it was interesting because Olivia kind of time travelled to a century before. However, what I did not like the time is that it is not clearly stated about when the main character's, Olivia, time is set.

The plot was a combination of light-heartedness and a lot of emotionally challenging obstacles for Olivia; such as finding out she must live with her dad on an island because her mother was in jail or finding out that William's time was way before her time.

I would recommend this book to pupils who would like to read about emotional obstacles and a girl who tries standing up on her feet again.

Keeley’s review
The character I found interesting was Olivia as she is polite, positive, and determined. The character I didn’t like as much was Riya as she was very sassy and a bit of a bully.

I learnt a bit about William Makepeace, who was an artist who went to war. When he came back, he painted birds; young, old, big, small, male, female, and all breeds.

I found the story interesting and it made me want to read more. The thing that stands out to me about the story is that it started as Olivia going on holiday to see her father and her mum in prison to it ending to the artist, William Makepeace, painting.

I’d recommend this book to everyone because it’s a lovely story to read and you learn lots about William Makepeace, the war, and new words.

I’d give it an 8.5 out of 10.

Isla’s review
This book was amazing. It took me on an emotional roller-coaster. My favourite character would either be Olivia or Aidan, Olivia because she is always stuck in the middle as she did not know what side to take, and Aidan because he was an outcast when word got out about his secret. This book taught me not to treat people differently even if they have a different opinion, and don’t take sides unless you’ve heard both sides of the story.

Alex’s review
It is about a girl called Olivia who is in the middle of a feud between her whole community, family, and school. In the midst of chaos, she meets the ghost of a WW1 conscientious objector called William. He faced the same things as her and helps her decide what to do.

My favourite character is Riya because she is very similar to me and likes the same things that I do. For example, her view on whether all men should go off to war is the same as mine: we both think that they should choose.

This book is very good for those who want to learn about conscientious objectors and life at home in WW1. I really like the way that it shows two sides equally; it’s very clever.

Despite enjoying the book lots, the fact that William is a ghost confused me. This is, I believe, my only con though.

I recommend this book to people who want to learn about WW1 and conscientious objectors.

Chenab’s review
Across the Divide is a really good book for people who really like reading books about history and adventure. It is roughly set in the time of WW1 (World War 1). At that time of the year, there were some people who didn't like the war and people who didn't want to be part of it. In this book review you will find out what I think about this book.

In this book my favourite character is William. I like him because he is from the past and has a long history, in which he is very confused of what to do and what choices to make for his future. In the book I don't like the character called Seb. I don't like him because he doesn't respect other people's point of view but makes them worse by bullying them.

I learnt the history of Lindisfarne island and about the people who lived there and who owned it. The history of the castle made me really interested.

The fact that it was set in the past and that I learnt something new about the history of England made it very fascinating to me.

The main part of the story is very serious because there is a boy called Aidan who is a pacifist and wishes there are no wars and because of that an argument occurs between him and some of his classmates.

One thing that really stands out to me is that there is a boy from the past coming into the story and helping the main character of the story indirectly with her problem.

I would definitely recommend this book because, as I said in my first line, it is for people who love history and adventure. This sort of book would best for people in years 4 to 6.

Emily’s review
I really enjoyed reading the book Across the Divide by Anne Booth. I liked the character of Olivia as I found she was relatable; she handled the issue of making a hard choice in the same way many people would. The plot got more exciting as the book went on but at the same time it delivered a serious and important message. I especially liked the book because it was a past-meets-future-style book. The book stood out for me because it addressed the theme of war in an alternative way. I would definitely recommend this book to friends and other pupils because overall, it was an enjoyable read with an important message.

Ruby’s review
I did not really understand the concept of the book and things like that so here is my review.

Across the Divide is a book that I would recommend for people above the age of 11 because me, age 9, did not really picture this book as an older person would do if they read it.

It lacks of humour and personality. It also doesn’t paint a picture in my head like other books, so I would recommend to add more images to help paint the picture.

Congratulations on releasing a new book and good luck on trying to improve it.

Sadie’s review
Across the Divide is a beautiful and thought-provoking book. I really like it because it has a simple storyline, it is really effective and it shows a whole different view on war, which is different to most books set during WW1. My favourite character is William, a boy who is caught between war and peace, because he brings balance to the tension in the book, and without meaning to, helps Olivia find what to do in the end. The time (or times) it was set in made it particularly effective because it helped compare the past to modern day wars and showed the similarities. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it!

Star rating: 5

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