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Owen and the Soldier by Lisa Thompson

Jun 3rd 2020

This book, shortlisted for the Blue Peter 2020 book awards, tells the story of a young boy who befriends a stone soldier in the memorial garden of his local park.

Lonely and struggling with life at home with just his mum, Owen ends his school days by sitting in the garden to talk to the soldier about his day. It is safe to say that he isn’t a big fan of school!

When Owen hears that the council plan to remove the statue and redesign the park, he feels he has to do something to change their mind. Maybe the poetry recital at the new school library opening will give him the perfect opportunity?

This is a lovely book to remind children about the act of remembrance and how even our lives today can be touched by war. The sensitive theme of loss and grief has been handled beautifully by the author and would support further discussions on the subject. It would be your choice how much further you would want to explore this side of the story as there are plenty of other areas to develop. Links can be made to history, poetry and PSHE.

We have chosen this book as part of our Pathways to Read programme for schools to run alongside the Y2 ‘Major Glad, Major Dizzy’ unit from Pathways to Write. Y2 pupils will have suitable challenge in exploring some of the vocabulary but will be well supported through shared reading and activities.

To find out more about Pathways to Read and how this text fits into the overview for schools, check out our website or join us at one of our introductory webinars.