A deadly contagion races through England...
Isabel and her family have nowhere to run from a disease that has killed half of Europe. When the world she knows and loves ends forever, her only weapon is courage.
The Black Death of 1349 was the deadliest plague in human history. All Fall Down is a powerful and inspiring story about survival in the face of real-life horror.
This book has quite a clever cover when I saw it I thought oh this is going to be a nice juicy horror novel with the title All Fall Down and an axe in the place of the L. I never would have guessed from looking at it that it was going to be about the Black Plague in England in 1349. I found the book really interesting, I vaguely remembering studying the plague as a student at school so this book brought it back to me.
Putting my teacher hat on I think this book would be a great addition to history lessons on the plague as it is an enjoyable novel with a great story while at the same time the children would be getting great history lessons about what it was like in that time and how the plague spread throughout England. I like childrenā ™s books like this as they actually serve a purpose in teaching children about something important in their history while the storyline still contains all the ingredients of a good story, a bit of suspense and even a bit of romance.
The main theme that came through to me was courage and strength which comes through from the voice of the narrator of the story Isabel a 14 year old girl who had a father, a stepmother, four brothers, and one sister, and a boy to whom she had been betrothed since birth. Although there was one other boy to which she had a bit of a crush on.
Isabel seemed much older than 14 she had a lot of responsibilities which I guess they did in this time. She was so strong and courageous already having lost a mother years before she know stood to lose much more. I wanted to keep reading to find out who survived the outbreak in the little village of Ingleford and how they managed to survive.
The book stirred emotions as characters you had longed to survive succumbed to the plague that was spreading like wild fire. The author Sally Nicholls did a great job of building up suspense, fear, and uncertainty throughout the story which has many twists and turns to keep the reader interested and the pages turning.
I would recommend this book to others as, as well as being a lovely look into the history of our world that a lot of children these days would just not understand it has all the elements that make a great book and is a highly enjoyable read. They should make more childrenā ™s books like this one, it is well and truly the best history book I have read and I have enjoyed such stories as Goodnight Mr Tom, and Tomorrow When the War Began.
I hadn't expected to enjoy this book nearly as much as I did. At 270 pages it is a good length for a young teen upwards.
Based in the Black Death of 1349 this story focuses on Isabel, a 14 year old girl living in a small village near York in England. Told in the first person the impact of the Black Death is told as the author imagines it would have been experienced by someone in Isabel's position. A young girl from a farming family indentured to one of the landowners of the area.
The story begins in the year Isabel turns thirteen, when the Black Death was still something happening in another land. The reader becomes acquainted with Isabel's life, her family her friends, her hopes and dreams. The story is so well written that I had to keep reminding myself it wasn't an adult novel. Perfectly pitched for young teens this is so well written and draws the reader into really caring about the fate of not just Isabel's family but of her friends and the villagers. The author has managed quite skilfully to show not only the impact of the Black Death on the population (approximately 45% of Europe's population died) but on what happened to those that were left.
I found this book really hard to put down. I love historical novels like this and this story is such a vividly accurate portrayal of a very significant event in history. There is a glossary and a historical note at the end. Your young teen reader will learn about a very significant event whilst being totally engrossed in a fantastic account of Isabel's story of survival. I am going to look out for more of author Sally Nicholl's books.
I can totally recommend this book and its going on our book shelf for my girls to read when they are older.
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