When the Sky Falls

When the Sky Falls

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction, Children's, New & Recommended, Age 9-12
Paperback Published on: 03/06/2021
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Bookseller Reviews

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When the Sky Falls
This is an absolutely amazing novel. It's not the type of novel that I'd usually pick up, but I read the first page just to see what it was like, and then ... READ MORE
Helen at Scarborough
When the Sky Falls
Children’s fiction at its best
A powerful and moving story of friendship set amidst the carnage of the Blitz in London during the Second World War. It is deeply atmospheric - the account... READ MORE
Beth at Chesterfield
When the Sky Falls
Emotional reading
Perfect for fans of Michael Morpurgo this novel is about Joseph, a young boy who is rehomed during the war. At his new home he find himself working at the ... READ MORE
Sarah in Wolverhampton
When the Sky Falls
Powerful, moving and utterly gripping
Set during World War 2, When the Sky Falls opens with our protagonist, the angry, defensive and sullen Joseph, on a bustling station filled with soldiers a... READ MORE
Rachael at Altrincham
When the Sky Falls
‘Hey,’ said Joseph, forgetting himself, ‘that tickles.’
*This is an astoundingly good book; a blending of Goodnight Mr Tom (Michelle Magorian), The Machine Gunners (Robert Westall), The One and Only Ivan (Kather... READ MORE
Sue Chambers
When the Sky Falls
A special, emotional, yet important story!
WOW! What an emotional and breathtaking read that will stay with me for a very long time. This sure is a wartime tale with a difference and I think will re... READ MORE


Winner of The British Book Awards 2022 Children's Fiction Book of the Year Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2022 Waterstones Children's Book of the Month for June 2021 Inspired by a true story. It's 1940, and Joseph has been packed off to stay with Mrs F, a gruff woman with no great fondness for children. To Joseph's amazement, she owns the rundown city zoo where Joseph meets Adonis, a huge silverback gorilla. Adonis is ferociously strong and dangerous, but Joseph finds he has an affinity with the lonely beast. But when the bombs begin to fall, it is up to Joseph to guard Adonis's cage should it be damaged by a blast. Will Joseph be ready to pull the trigger if it comes to it?

  • Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781783449651
  • Number of pages: 320
  • Weight: 256g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm

Customer Reviews

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When the Sky Falls
An emotional & breath-taking read
WWII is raging and whilst most children are being evacuated to the countryside, Joseph is being sent to the city by his grandma who can no longer cope with... READ MORE
Mrs Wall
When the Sky Falls
A wartime tale with a difference
Joseph has a lot of anger bubbling to the surface due to his relationships with the adults that have all come and gone in his life. Being forced to move t... READ MORE
When the Sky Falls
Children's Book of the Month June 2021
Firstly, fabulous cover! This was inspired by a true story, which is just amazing. Great story set in the war time, heart breaking and heart warming. Certa... READ MORE
Fiona Sharp
When the Sky Falls
One of the most accomplished books I've read in a long time
I’ve been a huge fan of Phil’s writing for many years. He has an incredible talent for finding stories wherever he goes, hidden behind doors in the Storey ... READ MORE
Jo Clarke
When the Sky Falls
..brilliantly written..
WHEN THE SKY FALLS ,by Phil Earle published by Andersen Press Lots of emotions, and a suspenseful story. Each chapter builds the suspense into the next. I... READ MORE
david norman
When the Sky Falls
An incredibly powerful story set during WWII
This feels like a terrible way to start my review, but up until a couple of weeks ago I have to confess that I hadn’t read any of the many published books ... READ MORE
Jacqui  Sydney
When the Sky Falls
A modern classic - so engrossing, so raw. Magnificent.
There has already been so much praise for 'When the Sky Falls' but I wanted to add to the buzz. Sometimes a book comes along that simply blows you away and... READ MORE
Chris Soul UK
When the Sky Falls
A giant, emotional punch of a book
We join the story with Joseph stepping off a train to start a new life against the backdrop of WW2, and the anger and confusion that naturally come with su... READ MORE
Andy Midwinter
When the Sky Falls
Great for UKS2
I can’t wait to read this to my class next year, exciting, thought provoking, great for opening discussions about difficult feelings and how to deal with t... READ MORE
Christina Chippendale
When the Sky Falls
One of my favourite books this year.
Storytelling at its best in this gritty and harrowing story of a boy and a gorilla in a zoo during war. The tension will keep you turning the pages to reve... READ MORE
Sarah Lean
When the Sky Falls
A classic in the making
When The Sky Falls is a simply stunning book. From the very first pages, I knew it would be one of those books which I would constantly be recommending - ... READ MORE
Nicola Webber
When the Sky Falls
When the Sky Falls is a powerful read.
Twelve-year-old Joseph has had it tough, not only is there a world war raging, his mum has died, his dad has been enlisted to fight, and now his Grandmothe... READ MORE