Helen Watts Author

One Day In Oradour

One Day In Oradour

by Helen Watts

Published May 2013 by 
A&C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury
ISBN 978-1-4081-8201-7

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"I read the book from start to finish, finally finishing just before 4am one morning: it is that good I could not put it down ... I must congratulate Helen on a stunning piece of work and the praise that she has received for One Day in Oradour is deserved. ... If there is one book that should be read then One Day in Oradour is that book."
The Last Word Book Review
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"Powerful, moving and almost unbearably tense ... With a twist in the tale, this is a story which leaves the reader surprised, inspired and profoundly moved."
Young Writers
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"This is definitely one of those stories which does more than any History textbook ever could to make history feel very real. We'd definitely read other fictionalised stories by Helen Watts."
The Historical Association
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"Watts has written a symphony with words. Young adult readers and adults, especially those studying or with an interest in World War II will find this book a must read." 
Inis, The Children's Books Ireland Magazine
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“Watts...handles the brutal truth with sensitivity, without shying away from the facts.” 
The Historical Novel Society, August 2013.
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“Watts...having tackled a demanding subject, one fraught with risks of maudlin, sensationalism or sentimentality, has succeeded in bringing to a child's mind's eye enough of a hideous reality to touch the young reader, and to inform without despair.”
ydney Morning Herald
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"A profound WW2 book not to be missed... One Day In Oradour by Helen Watts will leave any 11+ surprised, inspired and profoundly moved. Definitely one for the grown-ups as well." 
Julia Eccleshare, Children's Director of the Hay Festival (selected by her as June Book of the Month)

"One Day in Oradour is a confronting story which doesn’t pull any punches, but it’s an important one."
Kids' Book Review, 22 June 2014
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“A compelling narrative which looks deep inside human behaviour and the terrifying consequences of man's actions.” 

"I have visited Oradour myself and it is very moving. Reading this book has made me want to return to Oradour again and see things from a new perspective. I will certainly be promoting this book to my students." 
School Librarian, The Hemel Hempstead School

"Akin to some of Michael Morpurgo's work. A haunting story and one which stays with you for some time." 
Joy Redrup, Literacy Subject Leader, Lowestoft

"An incredibly gripping read." 
Stephanie Cerrone, Teacher of English, Stratford-upon-Avon School

"This book was infectious ... could not put it down." 
Diane Beale (Amazon review)

"I just wanted to thank you for such a profound, moving summary of what I felt, when I accidentally visited Oradour-sur-Glane, whilst on a cycling trip in France, in 2006. Your commentary was so evocative of the specific village landscape, as well as the many personal tragedies of that event. I had such vivid memories of my intense feelings, that day, that I had to put your book down, every few pages, and take a deep breath…literally, the narrative was too intense to absorb in more than a few pages worth at a time. Of course, having visted Oradour, I knew how it would turn out, and that made it more intense. I think that you were extremely adept in treading a fine line, describing the events of the day, accurately, but without slipping into a less effective, more bombastic blood-and-gore formula. I know that your target audience is perhaps teenage, but your commentary is universal. Thank you." 
Jim Berger. Expat American, Auckland, New Zealand 

"The book is very well written and gives a long-lasting impression on all who read it and, despite the topic, is suitable for adults and children alike. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought that Helen Watts’ unique twist of showing it through the eyes of a child made it feel more human than the clinical view you receive from the strictly neutral history books I have previously read. I highly encourage anyone interested in history to read it!"
Reviewed by Karl Southern, Book Walrus
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"The greatness of One Day in Oradour doesn’t lie in the why and how, though, but in the what. There is no foreshadowing, just as there is no foreshadowing in real life. There is no looming thundercloud ready to strike lightning. There is no theatrical gore or dramatic lens flare. There is no transition from idyllic hamlet life to horrific nightmare: it merely goes from stepping through daily life to stepping through the real events that happened. It is impossible to imagine that this is something that could only happen to other people, because it happens to you, as you read along." 
Reviewed by Heidi, Book Walrus
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"I have just finishing reading your book and well I can only praise you for an amazing story. I have visited Oradour many times and Oradour never leaves you or the feelings you have when you are there. I found your book by chance at the school where I work and could not wait to read it. I could hardly breathe in some places and even though I have some prior knowledge about the events that took place that fateful day I still could not wait to find out what would happen at the end of the book. Oradour has a special place in my heart and your book is keeping the memories alive which is how it should be as Oradour will never be forgotten. Your book was written with a special sensitivity and I will try to encourage my students to read it as well. My next trip to Limoges will be at Easter this year and I will once again walk through the streets of Oradour and think about that very brave little boy. Thank you once again Helen for writing such a powerful story."
Mrs Wendy Marks, Harrogate, North Yorkshire (comments received via email)