(This post may contain affiliate links.)

Did you ever wonder what kind of adventures Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy would have gotten up to if they hadn’t found their way into Narnia? What about the other millions (yes, millions) of children evacuated to the British countryside during World War II? And what if one family of those children were orphans looking for a forever home? A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus explores that story.

The Story

William, Anna, and Edmund (yes, a nod to Narnia) grandmother has died, leaving them orphans. London’s children are being evacuated to avoid German bombers during World War II. If they don’t find a new family in the country, they won’t have anyone to come home to after the war.

Their new home is difficult–mostly because of their two foster brothers–but the children try to make do. But eventually Edmund can’t take any more. His actions lead to them being placed in a home frigid both in temperature and personality. Their only place of refuge is the library where the kind librarian, Mrs. Muller, dotes on them. In fact, they’d love to live with her, but events in her past have made the town deem her “unsuitable.”

Just when it seems like things can’t get any worse, the children stumble upon the happiest of endings.

What I loved

Books bringing people together–If you’ve ever made a friend by discovering you loved the same book, you’ll know how true this can be. Books, the comfort the bring, and how they connect people, are a central motif in this story.

Sibling relationships–The three children really take care of each other, especially William, the oldest. Even when the other two are frustrated by Edmund’s occasional lack of self-control, it’s evident that these three love each other and would do anything for each other.

Cozy read–There’s really no other way to describe this. Despite all the bad things that happen to the children (and some very frigid descriptions), this is a story that makes you want to curl up by the fire with hot chocolate.

Parents should know

There are a few times when Edmund’s behavior (things like putting a dead snake in his horrid foster brother’s bed) are praised by a positive character, though they are certainly condemned by everyone else. But Edmund learns to channel his frustration into positive changes by the end of the story.

I highly recommend A Place to Hang the Moon. Hand it to your child; read it as a family; check out the audiobook. This is one of the rare books that kids of all ages will love.

If you’re looking for more great read-alouds that span ages, check out my review of The Mysterious Benedict Society. Or for more great middle-grade reads, check out my list, Beyond Narnia.

Get our free booklists!

Join our mailing list to receiveĀ our exclusive booklists and get notified about new reviews or giveaways!

Thanks for subscribing! Check your inbox for your free booklists!