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Lit Circles - Primary: Feather Wars

About the book

Feather Wars by Sally Grindley

'But then, on Friday, it began. Sam was on his way home from school when he saw them ahead of him, on the other side of the road, sitting on the church wall. Sam tried to keep calm as a shiver of fear shot down his spine. "Just ignore them", he said to himself. "They can't do any harm".


It's 1940, Europe is at wae, and England is threatened with invasion. Against this background, Sam is confronted by enemies of his own. He is being bullied, and all because his father keeps pigeons. Not only that, but with his older brother far away fighting, his family, especially his father, begins to rely on him more and more. Slowly Sam comes to realize that he needs to face his bullies, as well as his own fears, if he is going to be any help in making it through the coming war-shadowed months. 

Sam's story is compellingly told in this remarkably assured debut novel that deals delicately and sensitively with friendship, bullying and growing up. 


Genre: War stories / Real life 

Themes: World War II, Bullying, Family

About the author

undefinedI had no idea I was going to be an author.  Some children know exactly what they want to be, and from an early age, but even as a teenager I hadn’t a clue.  I certainly enjoyed dabbling in writing.  I got into trouble at school once for taking an essay subject and approaching it from the most obscure angle I could think of, and for a while I wrote silly poems with my mum. But as for becoming a published author, it never occurred to me that I might head off in that direction.  When it finally happened, I was on the M4 motorway, heading for London!


Extension material

Questions for your circle

1. Research and explain why pigeons were used for communicating during the war. 

2. Write a paragraph about ways that Sam has grown or changed. What lessons has he learned? How has that made him different?


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