I feel like many people would enjoy this book, it just wasn't for me..
Little did I know how much I would enjoy London Calling - it's very appropriate for younger readers, but contains a depth that kept me fully engaged. But what I enjoyed most about London Calling was its spirituality and its affirmation of the belief that not everything can be explained.
I thought this book was about time travel and Big Band music and the Blitz, but it turned out to be a father/son relationship story with some time travel thrown in. Sometimes he acted like a 20 year old which I guess makes sense cause this book was written sort of like a memoir. This book was really a heartfelt father/son story with some dope time travel thrown in. Also, I really liked how this book showed the grittier side of WWII that we don't get in a lot of fiction. The party don't start till we walk in!" But anyway *shrugs* All in all, this book did have a few sexual references, cuss words, and violence (mainly wreckage of London descriptions), but it was pretty good.
The main message in London Calling, by Edward Bloor, is that one does not have powerful to help others or their community. Through Jimmy, Martin learns one of the questions that should be able to be answered in a life time, what did you do to help? One thing that I really liked about this book was Martin's personality. Bloor writes," Each life, in human history, begins when a person starts to walk down the path. I really liked this passage because in a way, it foreshadows Martin's personality and his life, which I think was a smart idea. Personality wise, I can connect this book to Divergent because both of these characters pick different paths than their parents in life and learn much from it.
But the story rolled like a train gathering speed until you knew the destination and wondered how the protagonist was going to get there. I would agree with the library that this is a teen/young adult novel, mostly because the plot is complicated and the reader needs to know a little history and be somewhat acquainted with life. If you are at all interested in WWII and the London Blitz, your interest will be piqued after this novel.
It's more complicated than that." While away from school Martin moves to the basement and basically sleeps all the time, and IM's his friends occasionally. He also starts getting strange calls from his grandma asking him questions and wanting him to help someone. When Martin inherits an old radio that his grandma loved strange things start happening and he travels through time and meets someone named Jimmy who his grandma had told him about. Add in the strangeness of him somehow needing to help Jimmy even though he's in the past, and learning some things about his grandfather, that no one had known about. She also didn't make him explain things to her about what was going on, and instead just rolled with it and used her job to help him get the info she needed. I highly recommend this book if you love time travel and the 1940's London.
When I start to read a book, I usually weigh the volume in my hands, look at the back cover blurb, and flip through pages to the beginning. A lot of times a book with an obvious religious message is just plain propaganda, but I can't say it of this one. I have no doubt the author is a strong Catholic, but that didn't keep me from loving this book.
Leaving his dysfuctional family behind Johnny hops on a plane in the present day with his alcoholic father to deliver a message to the 21st century person James Hawker. Bloor delivers more messages as he pontificates towards the ending of this book on who are heroes,spiritual beliefs according to the Catholic religion and other tedious thoughts.
But the way the author wove historical facts into the story is one of the things that sets this book apart. I also liked the Catholic school setting and the fact that Martin's family is seriously into the religious experience. He just doesn't sound like a modern teen because he calls people 'sir' and 'ma'am' and is incredibly polite.
This book has such a wonderful title, an odd cover, and discusses a historical topic that is of particular interest to me - the London Blitz, or the Battle of Britain. One final issue: I think it is ridiculous to claim that it is possible, within 2 hours (!), to run from Grosvenor Square to St. Paul's Cathedral, sit in the Pews for 15 minutes, climb to the Golden Gallery (which is 528, not 530 steps), have a good look around, come down, attend a Holy Communion Ceremony, and run back to Grosvenor Square.
English teacher in Florida public high schools, 1983-86; Harcourt Brace School Publishers, Orlando, FL, senior editor, beginning 1986. Story Time audiobook, Recorded Books, 2005.