Between the covers: Leo’s War by Patricia Murphy

Where did the school holidays go?  Those six weeks have flown by – my last read was The French Adventure and I’ve not had as much time to read as I’d hoped.  My recent read is a slightly different one to my usual, a historical book aimed at young readers called Leo’s War by Patricia Murphy.


It’s 1943 and young Leo tries to protect his disabled sister Ruby as the Nazis invade Italy.  After his mother is arrested, he turns to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty to save them. But he is no ordinary priest.  Known as ‘The Pimpernel of the Vatican’, the Monsignor is the legendary organizer of the Rome Escape Line. Soon Leo is helping out with this secret network dedicated to saving the lives of escaped prisoners of war, partisans and Jews.  But as the sinister Nazi leader Kappler closes in on the network, can Leo and his sister stay out of his evil clutches?

About the author

Patricia Murphy is the bestselling author of The Easter Rising 1916 – Molly’s Diary and Dan’s Diary – the War of Independence 1920-22 published by Poolbeg.

She has also written the prize-winning “The Chingles” trilogy of children’s Celtic fantasy novels.   Patricia is also an award-winning Producer/Director of documentaries including Children of Helen House, the BBC series on a children’s hospice and Born to Be Different Channel 4’s flagship series following children born with disabilities. Many of her groundbreaking programmes are about children’s rights and topics such as growing up in care, crime and the criminal justice system. She has also made a number of history programmes including Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4 and has produced and directed films for the Open University.

Patricia grew up in Dublin and is a graduate in English and History from Trinity College Dublin and of Journalism at Dublin City University. She now lives in Oxford with her husband and young daughter.

Initial thoughts

I’m a huge history nerd, especially the Second World War and I like books aimed at the younger reader; like Chocolate Cake with Hitler – it’s important to engage and educate a younger generation.  This book appeals to all ages and the cover was bright, fun and uninviting.

The story

The storyline in this book is fictional but covers real events; it has the right balance of description and historical facts without being too heavy.  I like the author’s writing style – I loved(and still do) the Horrible History books and this brings historical events to a slightly older but still young reader.  I hope more of these books are written about other moments in history – it’s a cracking read.

You can purchase Leo’s War from Amazon via the link below:

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