Title: The Buried Crown
Written by: Ally Sherrick
Cover illustration by: Alexis Snell
Published by: Chicken House Books
The Buried Crown is set in WWII when Britain was on the brink of invasion. Londoner George has been sent to live in the countryside while his brother Charlie trains to be a spitfire pilot. But he’s far from safe, he’s been placed with Bill Jarvis a drunken bully, the policeman’s son picks on him because he’s from the city and Nazis are hiding across the river. His only friend is Bill Jarvis’s tortured dog and refugee Kitty, the granddaughter of a Jewish archaeologist who came to Suffolk on the Kindertransport.
This exciting historical adventure hits all the tick buttons for me. I enjoy ghost stories, I love history and I love mythology even more. The novel successfully and seamlessly weaves Anglo-Saxon mythology with real WWII history, Adolf Hitler’s love of mythical objects and the 1939 discovery of the Sutton Hoo archaeological site, where the famous early 7th century longship and its stunning treasure was found. It is believed to be burial ground of Redwald, King of the East Angles and High King of Britain.
The ship contained grave goods ranging from humble domestic items such as cups and buckets to some of the most stunning treasures ever discovered in northern Europe. Many of the most precious items, including the famous Sutton Hoo helmet, shield and sword belt, are decorated with dragons which the Anglo-Saxons believed liked nothing better than to sit beneath burial mounds jealously guarding the treasure hoards, as powerfully depicted in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem, Beowulf.
So when the fictitious, priceless Anglo-Saxon crown is stolen, George is plunged into danger. It’s up to him and Kitty to protect the crown before it’s too late and help the ghost of Redwald rest in peace. The characterisation is strong and believable.
It would be an ideal book to support a topic on WWII in the classroom. It demonstrates the emotional turmoil of both evacuees and refugees during the 1940’s. Ally Sherrick creates a real atmospheric feel for the era with her vivid descriptions. This book is an exciting and dramatic adventure full of twists and turns from the beginning to the end. A must read book.
The only thing that was really missing was a map. I would have really liked a map of the site, village and location of the army site as Ally Sherrick imagined it. The amount of times I checked for a map because I thought I must have missed it was unbelievable. So I ask, please add a map in the next edition.