The Lion Above The Door by Onjali Q Rauf

We Will Remember Them

The Lion Above The Door by Onjali Q Rauf is a powerful children’s novel that will educate you as you read, whatever your age. It is suitable for ten years and over.

The story is told through the eyes of nine year old Leo, who, after a school trip to Rochester cathedral is inspired to search out the World War II record of his namesake. Leo is tenacious in his search, despite meeting brick wall after brick wall. Some of his ways to look for info are genius.

Leo is a very likable lead character, who, along with his friend, Sangeeta, is subject to racist bullying in both the classroom and the playground. Children can be very cruel. The teachers seem oblivious to this continual cruelty until one day when there can be no doubt.

We see that people are brave, not only in war but in day to day lives as well. “Why was he [Dad] always super-quiet and super-friendly to horrible people? Didn’t he care that it hurt?” Leo’s Dad does feel the pain but he refuses to stoop to the level of the bullies because then they would have won. He teaches Leo how to be the bigger person.

As the children learn about the exploits of the brave service men and women of World War II, from Singapore, India and Ghana, the reader is educated too. I loved the inclusion of short biographies of the leading figures as well as the photos included in the book.

The Lion Above The Door is a marvellous tale that reveals some very brave figures from World War II. The history books do not pay much attention to all the brave men and women from overseas, who fought for our freedom. We need to know their names and their stories so that we can remember them.


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