Book Review: Churchill's Children - The Phantom Zeppelin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Churchill’s Children: The Phantom Zeppelin is the first in a series of young adult novels by A.R. Grogan, a British author who currently resides in New York.

The series follows a boy named Christopher Finch (Kit), and his group of friends, who work undercover for Winston Churchill during World War II. Christopher is the son of a British diplomat and an American journalist, with a gift for languages. Because of his privileged upbringing and world exposure to different countries and languages due to his father’s assignments, he has a set of skills that most do not, particularly not most 12 year old boys, his age during this installment in the series. Of course, his knowledge of multiple languages proves quite the asset for a kid who is essentially assigned spy duties.

I loved the time period setting of the series and the author’s ability to write simply enough that most tweens and teens could understand but still engage adults as well. I was a little concerned that some of the history retold in stories by Kit’s parents and grandparents might get a little dull for some younger readers, but am hopeful that some of it will be absorbed anyway by those who might find a class lecture on the dull side. I anticipatel that many of the characters introduced in this book will be explored more in the books to follow in the series, as if that is the case this book did an excellent job of setting up a back-story while still allowing for some adventure for the main character, Kit, who managed to navigate secret tunnels, fly a Spitfire, and escape a Zeppelin, among other adventures. I am also looking for more description and interaction with real historical figure, Sir Winston Churchill, as he is a fascinating and complicated man anyway, but his interaction with children I think would be particularly entertaining.

On the whole I found this an interesting read, and am looking forward to more in the series.

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