Log in

Five Children on the Western Front
Kate Saunders

Fantasy and science fiction

A beautifully written book based on the story of Five Children and It.  It’s about five children who grow up together in war time, with a bad-tempered sand fairy who keeps falling asleep in one place and waking in another.  The book makes you feel sad, happy and horrified all at one time.

Iris Buglione, 6CC (2016)


Review this book

9 comments on “Five Children on the Western Front

  1. mpatten says:

    This is a great story about five children and a moody sand fairy (a bit like from the book Four Children and IT by Jacqueline Wilson ) called Psammead. Great book!

  2. Otto Meyric Rothstein says:

    I started reading this book but found it very confusing because I hadn’t read the 5 children and it.

  3. mrothwellstopps says:

    I love this book. It is really good it is like the characters are talking to you

  4. Mr Milne says:

    There seem to be lots of sequels these days – or perhaps that’s just the film industry. Anyway, my step father once gave me a valuable piece of advice. I was discussing whether to write an article for a publication I had been invited to contribute to. I said to him that I couldn’t think of a good reason for not writing it. He told me that I’d asked myself the wrong question: I should have a good positive reason for writing the article – if I was going to. This is a long way of saying that when I first heard about this book, my first reaction was to think why on Earth has Kate Saunders written it. Why write a sequel to Edith Nesbit’s brilliant and original Five Children and It? (If you haven’t read Five Children and It, I recommend it. This is where you’ll first meet the Pemberton family and the cantankerous and vain Psammead (the It of the title) – an ancient sand fairy who grants the children wishes that last for a day and lands them in sticky situations.) Anyway, Kate Saunders did have a reason for writing a sequel – or at least a very good idea for a sequel – and she has written a fine book in its own right, retaining the magic of the original and adding to it. The book is set about a decade after Five Children and It, at the outset of the First World War. The older children are of an age where they are drawn into the war as soldiers and nurses, and the war gradually envelops the family and darkness enters their lives. The Psammead can no longer grant wishes but still has magic to transport the younger children to see their brothers’ suffering on the First World War battlefields – and we also learn about its own dark and violent past as a desert God. Lacking any sentimentality, this is a powerful anti-war book, along with much else. The book’s poignant prologue reflects back on times before the war (the good carefree times that Nesbit describes in Five Children and It) -one of the characters remarks that ‘There were still happy endings in those days.’

  5. ibuglione says:

    Why are there hardly any comments on this book – read it now this is the best book ever

  6. cburt says:

    This book is utterly brilliant, Saunders describes the characters so effectively it is as if they are standing in front of you.

  7. ibuglione says:

    i think that 5 children on the western front has to be my second favourite book ever[after cogheart]it is the most imaginative book i have ever read.

  8. odiwan says:

    Two childeren rediscover the sand fairy and keep him safe.The fairy has a magical power to go to amazing places.

  9. jwhite says:

    This is a lovely and magical story, with a moody, power crazed and jealous sand fairy called the psammead (pronounced sammy-ad) who keeps on going to sleep and waking up somewhere else. Based on “Five children and It”, this book will make you laugh, make you cry or both. Read it and find out!