The First World War commemorated

A novella, a reissued young adult novel and a new short story have been published to mark the centenary of the First World War: 


-  THE SHELL HOUSE has been reissued with a striking new cover.


- TILLY'S PROMISE, a short, easy-to-read, dyslexia-friendly novel for age about 12 and up, is published by Barrington Stoke


- SOME OTHER WAR, first published in 1990, is reissued by Catnip


- STORIES OF WW1, edited by Tony Bradman, is published by Orchard, and has contributions by leading authors including Malorie Blackman, Tim Bowler and Adele Geras. My story, Dandelions for Margo, is about Land Girls, raids from the air - and a tortoise.


- See also POLLY'S MARCH, which takes place in 1914 during the weeks leading up to the outbreak of war in August.


Reading War website

Barrington Stoke, the publishers of TILLY'S PROMISE, have launched a dedicated website called Reading War. This features my book alongside the excellent OVER THE LINE by Tom Palmer, and contains resources, activities and footage on various aspects of the First World War - conscription, conscientious objectors, women's work, football and football battalions. Tom Palmer and I both talk about our books and what inspired them.


THE SHELL HOUSE alternates between the First World War and the present day, telling the stories of two young men, Greg in the present and Edmund during the Great War. They are linked by the setting, Graveney Hall - a substantial country house in Edmund's time, a burnt-out ruin in the present.


Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize


Available in paperback from Random House



Life in this village was always the same, year after year. In fact, I'd often thought it was too much the same, and wished for a bit more change. But now ...


When war breaks out, Tilly Peacock and her sweetheart Harry are keen to do their bit - Tilly as a nurse and Harry as a soldier.  But as the conflict shows no sign of ending, even Tilly's younger brother Georgie is called up to fight. Tilly is anxious about Georgie, who doesn't understand that war isn't just playing with guns and needs his family for support. Harry makes Tilly a promise to look after Georgie, but both Harry and Tilly are about to find out that promises can be hard to keep ...


" A moving story about a young woman who joins the war effort as a nurse at the outbreak of the First World War. This is a fine addition to Barrington Stoke's excellent list.' Marilyn Brocklehurst, The Bookseller, 2014 highlights


"To realistically portray all the horror of war, while still showing the enemy as human is difficult in a full length novel ... try to condense that into 96 pages in a large double spaced font and you are nearly asking the impossible. But Linda Newbery has pulled it off perfectly. This book is brutally realistic, painful to read at times, but beautifully written."

The Bookbag, 5-star review


This striking cover has been made by artist Stewart Easton, in imitation of the embroidered postcards which were popular duirng the First World War. Read more here:


The Edinburgh-based publishers Barrington Stoke are specialists in dyslexia-friendly books for children and teenagers. 


Tilly's Promise is suitable for readers of about 11 and above, but has a younger "reading age".



Tony Bradman has edited this collection of new stories from well-known writers, including Malorie Blackman, Geraldine McCaughrean, Tim Bowler and Frank Cottrell Boyce. My own story, Dandelions for Margo, is about Lizzie's involvement with two Land Girls - and a tortoise.


Available in paperback from Orchard



Polly's March, one of the Historical House series (see Junior Novels page for more detail) is set in 1914, in the weeks leading up to the outbreak of war in August. The story is concerned with the Votes for Women campaign, and Polly's involvement with a pair of suffragists who move into the flat above hers. By the end, this pair - Violet and Edwina - exemplify the different directions taken by suffrage campaigners to show what women could do, and to prove that they deserved the right to vote.


Polly's March is suitable for readers of top primary / lower secondary age.

Fourteen on 14-18

Here are my fourteen most influential books on the First World War (not including poetry, or books written for children or teenagers):


- The Great War and Modern Memory, by Paul Fussell


- Testament of Youth, by Vera Brittain


- Undertones of War, by Edmund Blunden


All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque


- Somme; They Called it Passchendaele and The Roses of No Man's Land, by Lyn Macdonald


Now, God be Thanked; Heart of War; By the Green of the Spring: epic trilogy by John Masters


- Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, by Siegfried Sassoon


- Wilfred Owen: a new Biography by Dominic Hibberd


- How Many Miles to Babylon? by Jennifer Johnston


- Echoes of the Great War: the Diary of the Reverend Andrew Clark, 1914-19, by Andrew Clark